Analyzing the Sinophone Narrative on the Russian Invasion in Ukraine.International academic online conference. 14 October, 13h-17h. See link. Conference of Secretary-General of CCDPCh and Vice-President of China Observatory
Academia das Ciências da Ucrânia. Instituto de Estudos Orientais
What is the position of PRCh face of the Ukraine war and Russian invasion?
The answer needs using a negative heuristic and a positive heuristic. And first of all, understand the international policy of China, in a context of global geopolitical confrontation
We live in a new world where mass media and social media are monopolized, it is not easy to build a critical thought. After fifty years studying China, I always return to the critical issues: What represents the concepts of “New Democracy” and the “Socialism With Chinese Characteristics”? And their evolution to “Ecological Socialism” and the pilot zones towards “Ecocivilization”?
Time revue calls PRCh a “hybrid model of quasi-state capitalism and semi democratic authoritarianism”. Around the world, different research postulates a common idea: “China’s successful reform has produced a system that is not the same as the Soviet Union, not like Anglo-American democracies and not like Asian developed states”. That last vision was adopted by the American Senate, after a long debate for two years, from 2016 to 2017, that decide: the Federal Government must increase the Economic and Diplomatic engagement with China. But in 2021, a critical turning point happened: the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS), lanced the so-called “China Strategic Action Plan to Counter the Threat posed by People’s Republic of China ”. This document is practically unknown by the public in the west but was taken seriously by the government of China. It is the key to understanding the intensification of hostile campaigns about Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan, and incidents like the suspicion around the 5G technology. And explains why China blames US that is pushing the international system toward the direction of “de-Sinicization”, elevating the status of the G7 and downing the importance of the G20 and rolled out new multilateral arrangements that exclude China, like the QUAD and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.
But returning to China political Philosophy. The standpoint of my research is: If the People’s Republic of China represents a new historical experience of democracy and socialism, the Western conceptual framework of political hermeneutics is not adequate to understand PRCh.
And, by this way, I find successive propositions not falsifiable, that must be better studied, like socialist market, one country, two systems, that represent distinct faces of a new historical regime, different from liberal democracy, and Soviet Union socialism. Those regimes did not represent the end of history and the unique way to socialism.
And yes, we need a new conceptual framework, to understand the Chinese way into a new era. That is the mission of political philosophy.
In classic China, the philosophers tried to be part of the imperial council. But the doors of the palaces remained closed. Then, they have gone to the people, spreading philosophy. In the PRCh, the political philosophy, without lost its popular roots, comes now from the state power, from a party with 95 million of militants and a youth organization with 75 million, supported by a colligation of eight democratic parties, that founded together the PRCh, based in a fundamental text that guarantee that those parties have the constitutional right to share the power. A political system based on the Multiparty Cooperation and Political Consultation and People’s Assemblies.
The critical resource to understand the Chinese way to a New Era, is political philosophy, from its classic roots to the modern contributions of political philosophy. If we looks to the last hundred years, China let hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend, since the Three Principles of the People, from Sun Yat Sen to the Ecocivilization of Xi. Two mains’ principles define a collective awareness of China about international police: respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and peaceful coexistence.
Lao Zi wrote that we must respect the intrinsic laws of nature and things. Acting without acting. What mean, act with minimal interference, but with firm will and moral sense. And wrote: “When Tao is present in the Universe, horses instill manure on the field. When the Tao is absent from the Universe, war horses are created at the door of cities. Violent man will die violently”.
The way of peace cross the political of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, from Mao and Chu En Lai: remembering_ mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and co-operation to mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, integrated in the preamble of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, was adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, in the core of Cold War and reproduced in the BRICS, the Belt and Road initiative and are present in all international agreements of China.
At UN, since 1991, most China’s abstentions and all its vetoes have occurred on issues that involve territorial integrity, primarily sanctions and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, facts proven by international independent research, that concluding: “These votes directly correspond to China’s promotion of the Five Principles, especially the principles of mutual respect for territory and sovereignty and mutual noninterference in the internal affairs of other states.”
“Safeguarding World Peace” is too, one of the three historical tasks of Chinese socialism pathway, proclaims by Deng Xiao Ping, the second “Achieve National Reunification”, applying the principle of one country, two systems, and the third, promote “Common Development”, with the reform and open up.
The Chinese political declaration after the telephone call of 25 February 2022, when President Xi Jinping spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, postulated: “China supports Russia in resolving the issue through negotiation with Ukraine. China has long held the basic position of respecting all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity and abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter”.
I underline: the basic position of respecting all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. And I remember the Tao: Acting without acting. What means, act, with minimal interference, but with firm will: Russia must respect sovereignty and territorial integrity. And moral sense: abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter!
Russia began the first peace talks, the day after.
The political speech also needs to be friendly and restrained. President Xi added: “It is important to reject the Cold War mentality and reach a European security mechanism through negotiation”. In synthesis: China does not support the Russian war but does not agree with the escalation of sanctions, considering that, injured innocent people, do not respect the international laws, and could push the world into recession and economic chaos. The metaphor of “mentality of Cold War” is a critical reference to the NATO’ continued military deployment eastward, admitting that deployment has challenged Russia’s strategic red line. And China, in parallel, proposed The Global Security Initiative for Peace, introducing a new principle for sustainable security: the Principle of Indivisible Security. Chinese President Xi Jinping on June 15 held a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin and recently, a personal talk. And China does not change their position of principle.
The Russian president says now that support the Global Security Initiative for Peace. And in the recent UN assembly the speech of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov represents a strategic inflexion that must be considered.
The last, but not the least: During 77 UN Assembly, one day before the referenda, Chinese Foreign Minister in a meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has pointed out that sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be fully observed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, must be supported.
The Global Security Initiative for Peace and the Principle of Indivisible Security
President Xi Jinping propose the Global Initiative for Peace on the Annual Conference of the Boao Forum for Asia, April 2022 “The principle of indivisible security”, rejects the path of building one’s own security at the expense of the security of others, the opposite strategic concept that led to the creation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and the escalation of Cold War.
This principle is in line with the principles of the UN, is committed to respect for the sovereignty and integrity of all countries, advocates non-interference in their internal affairs and respects the different political and social regimes chosen by the history of their peoples
This new architecture, for perpetual peace, can be built from the United Nations and accompanied by the progressive dismantling of military pacts and the progressive reduction of mass destruction weapons_ nuclear, chemical, biological, digital…The last pollical declaration of the representative of China in UN, reinforce this position, PRCh wants that all mass destruction weapons be banish.
USA plan against Chinese Threat and China Global Development Initiative
In the beginning of December 2021, two documents established two opposite strategies to the world.
The Global Development Initiative (GDI), proposed by China on the United Nations Assembly in 2021, aims catch up and accomplish the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on risk by pandemic and regional conflicts, with a strong contribution of China in all critical domains, from health to the green transition.
The plan announces the restriction and police surveillance of all activities and citizens of China in the US and a global partnership around all continents, including the Arctic but also the sidereal space, with the same negative intention. The “EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment” was the last victim of that aggressive plan”.
That agreement can sustain the fall of Europe
When the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI), after seven years of negotiations, was finally signed in December 2020, Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission-EC, signaled its strategic importance for the European Union, already living in a new economic crisis accelerated by the pandemic, because the CAI would allow “unprecedented access to the Chinese market”.
Chinese and Europeans wanted to facilitate market access and reduce investment barriers, helping to recover European industry and economy in sectors such as transport, health equipment, telecommunications…
However, the EU Parliament decreed sanctions against Xinjiang’s rulers and China has responded with sanctions against some EU officials. Accomplishing the Plan against China, US leaders used again their influence over the dominant parties in the European Parliament to suspend ratification of the agreement. Von Leyden was silenced.
What really happens in Xinjiang? A pilot zone of Ecocivilization!
19 ambassadors of Europe in addition to Japan, Canada and Australia sent letters to the UN Human Rights Council criticizing China’s policy in Xinjiang towards Uighur Muslims. 65 countries, including the main Muslin countries, supported Chinese policy in Xinjiang through the response letter addressed to the same Council, praising what they call China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights. And they stress:
“Faced with the grave challenge of terrorism and extremism, China has undertaken a number of counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures in Xinjiang, including the creation of vocational training and education centers”.
None of the muslin countries support US accusations. I remembers that UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee record 16 years of terrorist attacks in Xinjiang. The letter that support China is signed by major Islamic countries, including the allies from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain…
The economic war against China
From the perspective of PRCh, all the conflicts that the United States promotes directly or indirectly, using interference, aggression, and civil war, are part of a strategic plan to retake American hegemonism. The fusion of the complex military-industrial with the oligarchy of finance, oil, real estate, and the media business, created a deep social gap where 1% control 93% of the GDP _ Gross Domestic Product , and the budget of the two hegemonic parties are dependent on their funding. From China’s standpoint, a world divided by confrontations of blocs, with military tactical conflicts, the supremacy of the business over the sustainable environment, are the core of the US political economy.
In that framework, the success or failure of an aggressive strategy depends on the correct choice of the principal direction of the attack. What is the main weakness of China’s economy? China has a high dependency on oil imports. China’s dependence on crude oil imports reached nearly 73 percent in 2021, making the country’s energy supply more vulnerable to the impacts of geopolitical conflicts. The United States is now auto sufficient in oil and gas, using a very polluted technology in shale basins called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
But every attempt to input responsibilities and sanctions against China, connected with the Ukraine war, failed. And it is a bad idea to try to provoke a recession in China’s economy, when the US and Europe Union fall into recession. On the other hand, China refuses the NATO way of a new arms race.
China defends the integrity of Ukraine, the right of Ukraine to choose the integration into EU_ But, Madame Von Leyden, not postponing accession until the Greek calends _ I say! And the right of the Russian nation to ensure the security of its nation, taking the position of peace mediator that the EU has compromised.
The implementation of the China-EU Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) can involve Ukraine and all Eurasian countries, in building a peaceful and common future, and support a sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine.
I was born in the last fascist and colonialist country of Europe; it was the poorest and most economically backward of Europe .For 13 years all the young men of Portugal was sent to fight against the guerrilla colonial liberation movements, near one million and four thousand hundred boys, from a country with 10 million people. If we measure the three fronts of combat in parallel with the Vietnam War, my generation and the peoples of Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, suffered more casualties, deaths, and material losses, than the US and Vietnam.
But the war and the resistance against war, generated a democratic revolution in April 1974, the Carnation Revolution.
More than five hundred thousand Portuguese was forced to return from colonies, and millions of emigrants did not come back. However, the peace and independence of colonies opened the way of reconciliation. Africans began to make Portugal the second homeland and the people of Portugal returned to the new African countries, as teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, and workers. Today, we built a common future with the Community of Portuguese Speak Countries.
Only with perpetual peace, the dead people can rest in peace.
For the bottom of my heart, I wish, to the peoples of Ukraine and Russia, Peace, and Reconciliation
14.10.2022 Lisboa, Kiev António dos Santos Queirós Professor and Researcher, University of Lisbon