Beijing just made its geopolitical position crystal clear: China stands with Russia
The first and obvious takeaway from the failed attempt by the U.N. Security Council to impose further sanctions on Assad is that Washington is frantically trying to find a way to sabotage any hopes of a peace settlement in Syria.
“Evidence” of chemical attacks — compliments of Twitter — were used in an attempt to strong-arm the Security Council into passing the fresh sanctions. It was a desperate last-ditch “diplomatic” effort to prolong the suffering in Syria. It was also a poorly-executed attempt to make Russia look like the bad guy for vetoing it.
Instead of making Russia look heartless, the failed resolution reminded Washington of something that it should never, ever forget: Beijing has lost its patience with Washington, and it won’t pretend to be neutral — even when it comes to “sensitive” issues such as “chemical weapon” attacks:
Russia and China have vetoed a UN Security Council proposal that would have banned the supply of helicopters to the Syrian government, and blacklisted eleven Syrian military commanders over allegations of toxic gas attacks.
The proposed resolution, put forward by Britain, France and the United States, was put to the vote of the international body on Tuesday despite an earlier pledge by Russia to use its power the quash the proposal, the seventh time it has done so since the conflict first erupted in Syria since 2011.
China could have abstained. It didn’t.
All “respectable” news outlets are now busy demonizing China as a chemical weapon-loving Putin collaborator.
You can bet Washington has already dispatched a few extra Navy ships to the South China Sea to punish this act of disobedience.
As if China cares anymore.
We are reminded of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s comments during his visit to Moscow last year:
“China-Russia cooperation is not confined to bilateral levels, instead, the two countries have been coordinating and playing active roles in a number of international issues,” Wang said on Friday.
The two countries, as permanent members of the UN Security Council and major emerging economies, have held similar positions on the Syrian crisis, as well as negotiations at the WTO and IMF.
“As each other’s most important and prioritized partners, China and Russia are developing the comprehensive strategic coordination as a strategic principle, rather than any expediency,” the Chinese Foreign Minister added.
This is an incredible statement, and is most likely causing mass panic at the Pentagon. China and Russia are working together on “strategic coordination” regarding “a number of international issues”. This is how NATO talks, minus the acronym.
While Yi cites the conflict in Syria as an example of “similar positions” between Moscow and Beijing, we suspect that China realizes it will need help to keep the US out of its sphere of influence. Together, Russia and China are now protesting US plans to deploy new missile defense systems in South Korea. And as the US continues to antagonize China in the South China Sea, Beijing sees Russia as a political and military partner against further western ambitions in Asia.
China sat on the sidelines during the crisis in Ukraine (it actually profited from that crisis, but that’s a different story, for a different time). Things are very different in 2017.
The growing economic and military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing over the last three years wasn’t for nothing. The joint military exercises; the oil deals settled in yuan; BRICS; The Shanghai Cooperation Agreement; The massive Chinese-led infrastructure projects that will span Eurasia.
No, China is not playing both sides anymore.
China understands what Washington wants — that’s why it stands firmly with Russia.