Russia’s War Viewed from China



Mark Leonard
Russia’s war viewed from China. Photo collected

Russia’s war viewed from China. Photo collected

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Is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine merely the first in a series of conflicts that will make Europe seem more like the Middle East in the coming years? A Chinese academic who requested anonymity put that question to me last month, and his reasoning showed just how differently non-Westerners view a war that is reshaping the European geopolitical order.

In speaking with Chinese academics to understand how they view the world, I have found that they start from a fundamentally different position than many in the West do. It’s not just that they are more likely to blame the Ukraine war on NATO enlargement than on the Kremlin; it is that many of their core strategic assumptions are also the opposite of our own.

While Europeans and Americans see the conflict as a turning point in global history, the Chinese see it as just another war of intervention—one that is even less significant than those launched in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 75 years. To them, the only material difference this time is that it is not the West that is intervening.

And while many in Europe think that the war has marked America’s return to the global stage, Chinese intellectuals see it as further confirmation of the incoming post-American world. To them, the end of American hegemony created a vacuum that is now being filled by Russia.

Whereas Westerners see an attack on the rules-based order, my Chinese friends see the emergence of a more pluralistic world—one in which the end of American hegemony permits different regional and sub-regional projects. They argue that the rules-based order has always lacked legitimacy; Western powers created the rules, and they have never shown much compunction about changing them when it suits their purposes (as in Kosovo and Iraq).

These are the arguments that lead to the Middle East analogy. My Chinese interlocutor sees the situation in Ukraine not as a war of aggression between sovereign countries, but rather as a revision of post-colonial borders following the end of Western hegemony. Likewise, in the Middle East, states are questioning the borders that the West drew after World War I.

But the most striking parallel is that the Ukraine conflict is widely regarded as a proxy war. Just as the wars in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon have been fuelled and exploited by great powers, so, too, has the war in Ukraine. Who are the main beneficiaries? My Chinese friend argues that it certainly is not Russia, Ukraine or Europe. Rather, the United States and China ultimately stand to gain the most, and both have been approaching the conflict as a proxy war in their larger rivalry.

The argument goes that the Americans have benefited by locking Europeans, Japanese and Koreans into a new alignment of US-dictated priorities, and by isolating Russia and forcing China to clarify where it stands on issues such as territorial integrity. At the same time, they say China has benefited by cementing Russia’s subordinate position in the two countries’ partnership, and by prodding more countries in the global south to embrace non-alignment.

While European leaders cast themselves as 21st-century Churchills, the Chinese see them as mere pawns in a bigger geopolitical game. The consensus among all the scholars I spoke with is that the war in Ukraine is a rather unimportant diversion when compared to the short-term disruptions of Covid-19 or the longer-term struggle for supremacy between the US and China.

Obviously, one could argue with my Chinese interlocutor’s points. Europeans certainly have more agency than he implies, and the West’s vigorous response to Russia’s aggression could well prevent the war from being the first in a longer series of border conflicts (as occurred during the decade-long wars of Yugoslav succession in the 1990s).

Nonetheless, the fact that Chinese observers frame things so differently than we do should give us pause. At a minimum, we in the West should think harder about how the rest of the world perceives us. Yes, it is tempting to dismiss Chinese arguments as mere talking points, designed to stay on the good side of a hostile, undemocratic regime (public discussions about Ukraine are heavily controlled in China). But perhaps some humility is in order.

The fact that Chinese observers have such a radically different perspective may help to explain why the West has not garnered near-universal support for its sanctions against Russia. At a time when the politics of ‘taking back control’ is ascendant, we should not be so surprised to see other governments discounting the importance of Ukraine. Where we see a heroic self-defence of the rules-based order, others see the last gasp of Western hegemony in a world that is quickly becoming multipolar.

[Mark Leonard is director of the European Council on Foreign Relations and the author of 'The age of unpeace: how connectivity causes conflict'.]

   

India-US relationship like ISRO's lunar mission: Jaishankar



International Desk, Barta24.com
India-US relationship like ISRO's lunar mission: Jaishankar

India-US relationship like ISRO's lunar mission: Jaishankar

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It is almost impossible to define  India's relationship with the US. India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the same at an event for Indians living in the United States.

He also said that these two countries now see each other as 'favorable, best, pleasant partners'.

Jaishankar said at the program of expatriate Indians in Washington, "I am often asked that where the relationship between these two countries is going?" It is difficult for me to define the limits of this relationship or express expectations about it because, this relationship exceeded all expectations in all aspects. That is why today I do not try to define the relationship between the two countries. We are gradually increasing the level of this relationship.

According to NDTV, Jaishankar held a meeting with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, administration officials and industrialists this week.

In this context, he said, 'India and the United States need to work together. It is important for Washington to have a relationship with those who speak well and think well about the United States.

According to him, we are looking for new fields. The more we do this together, the more successful we will be. Like ISRO's Chandrayaan, India-US relations have reached new heights.'

A few days ago, the G-20 summit was completed in New Delhi. The US also helped make the conference a success.

Jaishankar said this in a program organized at the Indian Embassy in Washington. He said that the help that the United States has given to make this conference a success should be said in front of everyone.

Jaishankar also rejected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's allegations while sitting in the United States.

Trudeau alleged that Indian agents were behind the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in Canada. In this context, Jaishankar said, "This is not India's policy."

New Delhi has suspended visa services for Canadian citizens amid India-Canada diplomatic standoff. Jaishankar also opened up about it in Washington.

He said, 'There was an obligation. Misinformation was being spread about our diplomats, embassies. How will they go to the office to issue visas? It is a question of law and order. The question of the Vienna Convention. According to the Vienna agreement, we have to provide security to our diplomats and embassies. 

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Key Priorities for the United States–India Relationship



News Desk, Barta24.com
Key Priorities for the United States–India Relationship

Key Priorities for the United States–India Relationship

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In conversation with Hudson Distinguished Fellow Walter Russell Mead, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar highlighted resilient supply chains, digital trust and transparency, and the prevention of production monopolies as key priorities for the United States–India relationship.

Important quotes from the event are below.

1. There is significant untapped potential in the India-US relationship. India and the United States have never really worked together. That is a very thoughtful observation because dealing with each other is not the same as working with each other. And in the past, both have always dealt with each other, sometimes not entirely happily. But working with each other is really uncharted territory. It is a territory which two countries have both entered in the last few years.

2. The US and India are both invested in the rules-based international order. Both India and the U.S.A. want to see a certain stability and a certain set of rules and a certain, distribution of power, which is advantageous to both. And mutual interests are not clashing in that respect. So at the biggest picture level, there's a very powerful case really for India and the US to work together.

3. For the future of technology manufacturing, the US needs partners, and India needs opportunities. Information-embedded economy has created a very powerful new convergence between India-U.S.A. because, at a global level, the United States will need partners. India will need opportunities and possibilities. So American priorities like iCET [the Initiative for Critical Emerging Technologies], the IRA [Inflation Reduction Act], and the Chips Act, these are all factors which will create a stronger sort of bonding.

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India's Chandrayaan-3 did not land on the moon- Chinese scientist claims



International Desk, Barta24.com
India's Chandrayaan-3 did not land on the moon- Chinese scientist claims

India's Chandrayaan-3 did not land on the moon- Chinese scientist claims

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India's Chandrayaan-3 successfully landed on the South Pole of the Moon for the first time in its history on August 23 evening. But, the Chinese scientist Wang Xiaoyuan made an explosive comment on such information. He claimed that India's Chandrayaan-3 did not land on the moon. His comments caused uproar. Criticism and controversy have started.

The country's scientist Wang Xiaoyuan gave this information in an interview with the Chinese language newspaper Science Times. The Indian magazine Business Today gave such news citing Science Times.

Wang Xiaoyuan said the place where the rover landed was at 69 degrees south latitude, not near the South Pole. The South Pole is defined between 88.5 degrees and 90 degrees.

In that interview, he also said that the landing site of Chandrayaan-3 is not at the south pole of the moon and it is not near the south pole of the moon. The information about Moon landing at the South Pole is incorrect, as the distance from the Chandrayaan-3 landing site to the Moon's South Pole region is 619 km.

Xiaoyuan is not the first Chinese scientist to question Chandrayaan-3's achievements.

Earlier, Beijing-based space expert Pang Zhihao told state media Global Times that China is far more advanced in many fields. Since the launch of Chang-2 in 2010, China has been able to send orbiters and landers directly into Earth-Moon transition orbits.

Pang Zhihao also said that the engine used by China is also very advanced. India's lander Pragyan has a lifespan of one lunar day and cannot withstand lunar nights, but China's nuclear-powered UTU-2 rover holds the record for longest operation on the lunar surface.

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Where the sun does not set at night!



Feature Desk, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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We all know that 24 hours day and night. After the tiredness of the whole day, we sleep at night, waiting for a new dawn. But think once, where the sun does not set, how will the new dawn come? Or where there is no night, when the people will sleep to remove the tiredness of the day? Do you think there is a place? Not unreal, there are places on earth where the sun never sets. After a long sleep where people do not see the dawn.

In today's discussion, we will know some places in the world, where the sun does not set even at night!

Norway: Norway is called the land of the shining sun. The country's geographical location makes it different from other countries in the world. From May until the end of July, the sun does not set in the Norwegian sky. As a result, Norwegian people do not see the night for two and a half months! Another specialty of the country is that the sun can be seen on the horizon even at night from the port of Hammerfest, Norway, as it is located in the Arctic region.

Nunavut, Canada: The Canadian territory of Nunavut is located 2 degrees above the Arctic Circle. The sun does not set here for about two months of the year. Not only that, the sun cannot be seen for 30 consecutive days in this place during winter. That is, the people here live under the shadow of the sun for two months on the one hand, in the same way they have to live in a long night for a month.

Iceland: Iceland is famous for its absence of snakes and mosquitoes. After Great Britain, Iceland is the largest island in Europe. The sun can be seen in this island even at night in June.

Barrow, Alaska: The sun is visible in the night sky from late May to late July (summer) in this area of Alaska. There is the reverse side of the coin! Not only does the sun never set, there are continuous nights here from early November to early December. That's why this place is also known as 'Polar Nights'.

Finland: Finland is called the land of thousand lakes and islands. The sun does not set for 73 consecutive days during summer in this European country. Similarly, the sun does not appear here for 32 consecutive days in winter. Because of this strange natural disparity, most people in that country believe that people sleep more in winter and less in summer.

Sweden: We all know that 365 days make up a year. But Sweden's year ends in one day! Because half of the year is day here, the other half is night. Even pulled again! So taking the day and night as the sun, it can be said that the year in Sweden is spent in one day! And people here spend half of the year in the dark and the other half in the light.

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