One year on, what should ordinary people take from Russia-Ukraine conflict?
Published: Feb 25, 2023 03:13 PM
A local resident sits near a damaged building in Volnovakha of Donetsk, March 15, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)

A local resident sits near a damaged building in Volnovakha of Donetsk, March 15, 2022.(Photo: Xinhua)

On the first anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, what should we ordinary people take from the ongoing crisis?

First, no matter what, it is better not to get involved in war. This is the best for us ordinary people. In a war, the people who die in the largest numbers are ordinary people and their children. Politicians are bound to pursue the ultimate victory at almost any cost. When political goals come first, how many people die only comes second. Moreover, if the war intensifies, the economy and people's livelihood are bound to be affected, and the people who suffer are also ordinary ones.

Second, confrontation can easily be stemmed from geopolitics. How to deal with national security issues is a very complex and highly professional challenge. Patriotism is a very valuable spiritual resource in every country, but public opinion should not become a force to push a country to deal with problems in a belligerent fashion. The country must dare to fight, otherwise it will be under strategic coercion. At the same time, the country's diplomacy needs to maintain appropriate flexibility in advancing and retreating. Political forces should not carry out a competition in a bid to show toughness to the outside just to please public opinion. This is dangerous for any country.

Third, the conditions of the US are endowed by nature. As long as the war is fought in Eurasia or other places other than North America, even if the US participates in the war, its losses will be very small. Countries and regions that are supported by the US to become the protagonists of war need to keep a clear head and examine whether they have unconsciously become a local tool for the US' global strategy and are being manipulated by Washington. 

Fourth, wars are fought on the basis of comprehensive national power, and the current war is a comprehensive war, not just fighting on the battlefield. Due to the mutual deterrence of nuclear weapons, it is difficult for major powers to start a full-scale war, and they will use mutual sanctions to create momentum in pursuit of final victory. Future development and national destiny are actually the greatest security interests of all parties in the world today. The fundamental goal of the US in the Russia-Ukraine conflict is to weaken Russia and eventually remove Russia's long-term nuclear threat to the US. The real "main battlefield" between China and the US is to determine whether China can continue to develop its comprehensive strength and eventually surpass the US. Taiwan is only a key lever for the US to undermine this trend. It is very much in the interests of the US to destroy China's continuing development momentum by sacrificing Taiwan.

Fifth, China is already bearing the brunt of this global geopolitical game, and we have more historical disputes with neighboring countries among major countries, but China has always maintained peace, and at the same time maintained our strategic initiative in dealing with acute disputes. This is fortunate for the Chinese people. We hope that China's ability to solve problems peacefully will become stronger and stronger.

The author is a commentator with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn