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Global Times – unofficial English language organ of China’s ruling Communist Party – has published a scorching editorial savaging the West’s bullying of Russia over the Skripal case.
The editorial notes the West’s disregard of basic courtesies and of due process, and warns that other countries – including implicitly China – may one day find themselves in the same crosshairs for this sort of attack.
The editorial also reminds the Western powers that so far from representing “the world community” they represent only a small part of it.
The editorial is so trenchant and so strong – going so much further than any editorial I have seen in a Chinese newspaper supporting Russia in its conflict with the West, including two previous editorials which Global Times has itself published on the Skripal case – that I am going to set it out in full
On March 26, the US, Canada, and several European Union countries expelled Russian diplomats from their respective foreign embassies and consulates in retaliation against Russia’s alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. As of this writing, 19 countries, including 15 EU member states, have shown their support to Great Britain by enforcing such measures.
On March 4, Skripal and his daughter Yulia were rushed to a hospital after they were found unconscious at a park in Salisbury. It was later reported the father and daughter had come into contact with an obscure nerve agent. UK government officials said the Skripals were attacked by “Novichok,” a powerful Soviet-era chemical nerve agent used by the military.
The British government did not provide evidence that linked Russia to the crime but was confident from the beginning there could be no other “reasonable explanation” for the attempted assassination. Great Britain was so convinced of their Russia theory, they wasted no time taking the lead in levying sanctions against the country by quickly expelling Russian diplomats from London. Shortly afterwards, UK capital officials reached out to NATO and their European allies who provided immediate support.
The accusations that Western countries have hurled at Russia are based on ulterior motives, similar to how the Chinese use the expression “perhaps it’s true” to seize upon the desired opportunity. From a third-person perspective, the principles and diplomatic logic behind such drastic efforts are flawed, not to mention that expelling Russian diplomats almost simultaneously isa crude form of behavior. Such actions make little impact other than increasing hostility and hatred between Russia and their Western counterparts.
The UK government should have an independent investigation conducted into the Skripal poisoning by representatives from the international community. An effort such as this would provide results strong enough for those following the case to make up their minds on who should or shouldn’t be accused of the crime. Now, the majority of those who support Britain’s one-sided conclusion happen to be members of NATO and the EU, while others stood behind the UK due to long-standing relations.
The fact that major Western powers can gang up and “sentence” a foreign country without following the same procedures other countries abide by and according to the basic tenets of international law is chilling. During the Cold War, not one Western nation would have dared to make such a provocation and yet today it is carried out with unrestrained ease. Such actions are nothing more than a form of Western bullying that threatens global peace and justice.
Over the past few years the international standard has been falsified and manipulated in ways never seen before. The fundamental reason behind reducing global standards is rooted in post-Cold War power disparities. The US, along with their allies, jammed their ambitions into the international standards so their actions, which were supposed to follow a set of standardized procedures and protocol, were really nothing more than profit-seizing opportunities designed only for themselves. These same Western nations activated in full-force public opinion-shaping platforms and media agencies to defend and justify such privileges.
As of late, more foreign countries have been victimized by Western rhetoric and nonsensical diplomatic measures. In the end, the leaders of these nations are forced to wear a hat featuring slogans and words that read “oppressing their own people,” “authoritarian,” or “ethnic cleansing,” regardless of their innocence.
It is beyond outrageous how the US and Europe have treated Russia. Their actions represent a frivolity and recklessness that has grown to characterize Western hegemony that only knows how to contaminate international relations. Right now is the perfect time for non-Western nations to strengthen unity and collaborative efforts among one another. These nations need to establish a level of independence outside the reach of Western influence while breaking the chains of monopolization declarations, predetermined adjudications, and come to value their own judgement abilities.
It’s already understood that to achieve such international collective efforts is easier said than done as they require foundational support before anything can happen. Until a new line of allies emerges, multi-national associations like BRICS, or even the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, need to provide value to those non-Western nations and actively create alliances with them.
What Russia is experiencing right could serve as a reflection of how other non-Western nations can expect to be treated in the not-to-distant future. Expelling Russian diplomats simultaneously is hardly enough to deter Russia. Overall, it’s an intimidation tactic that has become emblematic of Western nations, and furthermore, such measures are not supported by international law and therefore unjustified. More importantly, the international community should have the tools and means to counterbalance such actions.
The West is only a small fraction of the world and is nowhere near the global representative it once thought it was. The silenced minorities within the international community need to realize this and prove just how deep their understanding is of such a realization by proving it to the world through action. With the Skripal case, the general public does not know the truth, and the British government has yet to provide a shred of evidence justifying their allegations against Russia.
It is firmly believed that accusations levied by one country to another that are not the end results of a thorough and professional investigation should not be encouraged. Simultaneously expelling diplomats is a form of uncivilized behavior that needs to be abolished immediately.
In my experience China – even in editorials in Global Times, which are unofficial – invariably sets out its views in measured terms, preferring to avoid tough language though always making its views clear.
This editorial is different, showing the depth of Chinese anger about the way the Western powers have been conducting themselves over the last few weeks, which note that the editorial characterises as “uncivilised behaviour”.
Even a short visit to China – such as one which I did in August – suffices to show how much importance the Chinese attach to “civilised behaviour”, and how strong this criticism coming from them therefore is.
I suspect that when the dust over the Skripal case finally settles, it will become clear that its main effect has been to bring China and Russia even closer together they already were.