Russia's path not suitable for China

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-22 1:25:00

Workers replace the sign “Supreme Soviet of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea” on the building of the Crimean Parliament with the Russian sign “Crimean Republic State Council,” in Simferopol, Crimea on Wednesday. Photo: Li Qian/GT

 The Chinese public has been impressed by Russia's recent move to take over Crimea despite threats from the West. Some said China should learn from Russia's iron hand in handling the Ukraine crisis - China has been too cautious in dealing with frictions with neighboring countries, they complained.

Russia challenged the West head-on in the Ukraine crisis, a milestone move since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In comparison, the West has been showing a certain degree of restraint. The Kremlin's tactics have won wide support from the Russian people.

China may learn something from the Ukraine situation. However, it cannot copy Russia's practice.

Russia, which extends from Europe to Asia, is a special entity on the global strategic map. It boasts its own uniqueness in terms of resources, ideology and geology. It is not the strongest in comprehensive strength, but it has no outstanding weakness. The US and EU are reluctant to take decisive counter measures, as they are not sure what Russia's response would be.

The Soviet Union used to be the West's arch-rival during the Cold War era - any move of expansion by the Soviet Union would be faced with all-out counter measures from the West.

More recently, the West has been showing mixed feelings toward the concept of a "threat" from Russia. What the Ukraine crisis has brought for the West is more about a sense of "losing face" than a real threat from Russia.

The US and EU shouted loudly in protest. But they consider Russia just as a trouble maker in the West-dominated European order, rather than as a rival.

Currently, the main focus for the West is China, which is believed to have the potential to grow stronger than the US. China's rise has been distracting the West's attention and giving Putin more space to explore Russia's diplomatic options.

China keeps a sober mind about its strategic direction. The country has set a rejuvenation plan for decades or even a century ahead. It is strictly pursuing that path.

China has been gaining in power, but is still vulnerable in many areas. It is not wise for China to fuel confrontations with the West.

The relationship between China and the West is complicated. They are not friends, nor enemies, but areas of cooperation are much larger than those of confrontation.

Russia has dealt with Crimea vigorously, but China will have to show patience when dealing with disputes with its neighboring countries.

In international politics, the No.1 element is a country's comprehensive power. What is said is not so important - but after gaining more power, there will be fewer hostile challenges.

Posted in: Editorial

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