I know that through my Blog I have sometimes been described as an apologist for China. If it is the impression I give, so be it, even if I do not agree with the "label". But I do admit to having been conscious for a long time that many in the West fear China without understanding it. They want nothing more than to see China fall flat on its face, so they can continue to do as they have always done without having to face the inevitable economic competition that China brings. They do not want to acknowledge the progress made by China, certainly economically, and at a somewhat slower pace – socially.
My Blogs have therefore, where appropriate – and generally avoiding the “politics” of it all on which I am less qualified to comment – been an attempt to maintain a balance and keep matters in some sort of perspective. This does not make me blind to the faults of China, of which there are many, and accept that anything China does is okay. Syria is a case in point.
The United Nations may not be the most effective body in the world, but in matters of global security it is the best we have got. If there were serious alternatives I guess they would have found them by now. It is a forum for the nations of the world to express their views on issues of the day, and there can be no more pressing issue than that of the murderous Assad regime in Syria. Frankly, as I have said before, this is an issue that the Arab nations themselves should deal with, and indeed the Arab League has been active for once, following its remarkable absence in the case of Libya where it basically hid behind the Western forces and used them as their shield to defeat Gaddafi.
Surely, the wanton murder – for there is no other word to describe it – of civilians under a brutal and despotic regime should be a cause for concern of any nation of right minded people. How can it be that China (and Russia of course), in full consciousness, does not share in the condemnation of such acts? The view expressed by the Russians (and presumably shared by China) – that approval of the UN resolution might lead to a Western-driven attempt to overthrow another Arab regime - is frankly ludicrous. The Arabs themselves want to overthrow the regime. The majority of the people in Syria, it would seem, want to overthrow their Dictator. But are currently powerless to do so.
So with China’s veto of the resolution, the killings continue indiscriminately.
I honestly cannot believe that the vast majority of the Chinese I know, if not all – were they able to express their views in something as simple as a referendum for example – think they should allow this situation to continue unchecked.
One final thought. In the late 1970’s China started to emerge into the world rather like a newborn baby. It was huge in size, but unsophisticated in thought. A rather gangly ungainly “teenager” was how I described it. Fast-forward 35 years, and there is no doubt the country has made huge positive strides in so many areas. But China is now looking outside its boundaries for future supplies of food, raw materials - and oil, of course. Its reserves and wealth have made it a major part of the global economy, with aspirations perhaps to run world bodies like the IMF for example. But if it is not prepared to be a part of the world, a humanitarian world, then the shutters will inevitably start to fall.
Russia is already falling backwards. I sincerely hope that China does not follow suit.