At a recent forum discussion, Major-general Wang Haiyun, a senior advisor at the China International Institute for Strategic Society, spoke on the Ukraine crisis. The following are excerpts from his comments.
"After the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, Europe transitioned from a region related to the U.S.-Soviet confrontation to one of peaceful coexistence. In recent years, with the implementation of the United States’ ‘re-balance to the Asia-Pacific’ strategy, the confrontation seems to have shifted to Asia. However, the Ukraine crisis once again made Europe the frontier of the confrontation between Russia and the West."
"Since the Cold War, the Ukraine crisis has become a turning point for East-West relations. Russia and the U.S. are switching from strategic tolerance to strategic confrontation. The U.S. will have to strengthen its military and political presence in Europe."
"Given this circumstance, NATO’s ambitious global intervention may have to shrink to Europe. Its capacity to be involved in Central Asia and East Asian affairs will have to decline. In other words, the U.S.’s ability of strategic encirclement of China may be weakened; the hegemonic pressure that China is facing may be reduced."
"Because of the defamation, isolation, coercion, and suppression emanating from the Western powers, with its deterioration of the international environment, and especially its West border security environment, Russia has to rely on China, a booming power with similar strategic interests and strategic ideals to counterbalance the Western pressure."
"Not being a party of the dispute, China is relatively detached. As a result, many parties are looking at the reactions from China and hope that China is on their side. This places a high requirement on China’s diplomacy. If China handles it well, China can improve its international status and enhance its voice in the international community."
Source: People’s Daily Online, April 23, 2014