News / Asia

China Splits With Russia Over Ukraine

China Splits with Russia Over Ukrainei
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March 18, 2014 4:12 AM
With Russia's most vocal critics imposing economic sanctions over Crimea, some of Moscow's allies are also questioning its actions in Ukraine. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on how the standoff affects Russia's relations with China and with former Soviet republics.

China Splits with Russia Over Ukraine

With Russia's most vocal critics imposing economic sanctions over Crimea, some of Moscow's allies are also questioning its actions in Ukraine. 
 
In Syria's civil war, China and Russia have together blocked tougher action against President Bashar al-Assad, denouncing foreign support for the rebels as a breach of Syrian sovereignty.
 
Now, China has quietly split from Russia over Crimea -- on the same issue of sovereignty.
 
"China always respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. The Crimean crisis should be resolved politically under the frameworks of law and order.  We call on all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation of the tension," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei.
 
China wants nothing that might encourage separatist tensions, making Crimea a costly move for Russia, said American University professor Keith Darden.
 
"China has a very strict anti-secession One-China policy. It requires international support for its positions on Taiwan. The idea that by popular referendum some part of the country could decide that it's no longer part of the country without the approval of the central government is something they are never going to sign on to.  So Russia is isolating itself by this action," explained Darden.
 
When Russia vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Crimea, China abstained, saying more should be done to de-escalate the crisis.
 
U.S. officials say they are consulting closely with China on Ukraine, trying to further isolate Russia by portraying its actions in Crimea as outside international norms.
 
"Our hope continues to be that many members of the international community, including China, are in coordination and cooperation about the illegal steps that Russia took in this case and the pressure that needs to be exerted from not just the United States, but countries around the world," said U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
 
Russian troops taking charge in a former Soviet republic also raises questions about whether Moscow will maintain the post-Cold War status quo.
 
"Kazakhstan, for example, is absolutely alarmed by the idea that Russian-speaking populations should have the right to determine whether they would secede and become part of the Russian Federation. Within the Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia has been enshrining the principle of sovereignty, and that's partly why it has had good relations with Kazakhstan and some of its neighbors. Undoing that is going to cause a lot of havoc in those relations," said Darden.
 
President Vladimir Putin maintains that Russia is not to blame for the crisis in Crimea. He has called an early April meeting of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States to discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

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by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
March 18, 2014 7:00 PM
“One Chaina Policy" is dangerous.
China’s “one country, two systems” is also a trap.
Before taking over Hong Kong in 1997, Beijing promised that its local government would enjoy autonomy over all internal affairs, civil liberties would be protected and the judiciary would stay independent. None of those promises has been fulfilled. Since the 1997 handover, Beijing has taken an increasingly active role in Hong Kong’s domestic affairs. It is now trying to rig the system so that only its favored politicians could qualify as candidates.
As for Taiwan, a breakthrough on reunification won’t happen as long as Beijing remains authoritarian and continues to break its promises to Hong Kong.

And also, main land China is too large to properly control everything. It had better split into 3 or 4 countries for much better human rights of the people, especially Tibetans and Uighur. Wish to hear the declaration of independence from each Autonomous Region of Tibet, Xinjiang-Uighur, and Inner Mongolia.

In Response

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
March 18, 2014 10:16 PM
China's policy decision of recognizing the territorial integrity of other nations is self serving. Because of the earlier occupation of Xinjiang of Turkmenistan (1949),Tibet (1950), Aksai Chin and Ladak of India(1953), Inner Mongolia (1979) and Hong Kong (1997) do not give credibility to the assertion of China about the territorial integrity of other nations. The additional territorial claims of China for the whole South China Sea as its territorial waters; Paracel Islands, Scarborogh Reefs, Senkaku Islands of Japan in the South China Sea; and Demcheck Sector and Uttarkhand State of India, all indicate that China cannot be trusted with the territorial integrity of any nation. If China sincerely believes in the territorial integrity of Ukraine, why China did not vote for Ukraine in the Security Council resolution on Crimea, but abstained?

In Response

by: Pu from: China
March 18, 2014 9:40 PM
Japanese are the last to have the right to talk about human rights in China. Did you ever respect human rights in China during WW2?
And your wish that China will split into "3 to 4 countries" is so interesting and desparate. Even in the times when Japan was much stronger than China, your poor dream never came true. Then why do you think such an evil dream(although disguised by your "human rights" proposal) will come true today? Keep daydreaming that China will split and become weak again. Keep daydreaming that Tibet, Xinjiang or Inner Mongolia could be independent. Poor Japanese, haha...

In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
March 18, 2014 7:38 PM
Little japani, go hel, we will get back Taiwan in no time. And Japan must be split into three parts, China America and Russia each controls one part, lol


by: Oghenejuwe from: Nigeria
March 18, 2014 6:31 PM
Is d US afraid of Russia that they can't intervene militarily? Instead of imposing weak sanctions. Answer me.

In Response

by: chad from: United States
March 18, 2014 10:59 PM
Intervene militarily in what context and scope?

Their is zero ground troop option, a maritime intervention would meet all out war and onslaught that's would take weeks to repell just to get close enough to secure the cruise/tomahawk missle option on mainland russian targets, air/radar defence and command and controll.

Then deverting resources back to a dozen airctaft carriers to escort them to the stategic points of launch, to carry out carpet bombing of main transpertation and supply routs throughout the mainland of russia.

then we would have to continue this onslaught while we wait on the emmassing of ground forces to secure stategic economic and nuclear facilities. all the while fighting their way through dense gurrillia warfare that would make the iraq war look like a nothing.

As soon as ground forcres make it to the near zone of moscow... 2-5 thousand nuclear armed icbm's would be launched from under sea silos from russian watter territory at all of europe and the US.

in are immediate responce, we ablige with the same nuclear retalliation and two/thirds of all earth would be in rubble.

THAT'S WHY WE DON'T GO TO WAR WITH ANOTHER SUPERPOWER OVER UKRAIN!!!!!!!!!!

In Response

by: Rai from: USA
March 18, 2014 10:22 PM
Any nuclear power going to war against another nuclear power is terrifying for anoyone in the world...


by: danc from: USA
March 18, 2014 5:16 PM
From Putin's speech today (opposite of what VOA says):

“We appreciate the actions of those countries that have respected our decisions. Appreciate the actions of China and would like to thank their leadership. They view the situation in its historic complexity and entirety. Also India."


by: Niko from: Canada
March 18, 2014 3:31 PM
Ukis on this forum are border-line delusional. All civilized World should smite the Russia for messing with you? Dude, Westerners are more worried about NYSE losing 100 points than the fate of Ukraine. West will help you with rethorics and privately issued loans under very unfavourable conditions. Because you might default. Actually you are going bankrupt, because you are corrupt, disorganized, and nepotistic bunch. You will be encouraged by the West in impending civil war to go all the way against Ruskies from South East.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 18, 2014 2:15 PM
Once again China shows its spinelessness in the face of diplomacy. This goes to show how far away from being itself China is. Despite its economic and political growth, China still sees itself as a baby to Western powers, even though it has had to lend to them both technologically and financially. China is like a giant in the crib. Too bad for it. However, we do have to understand that what China lacked in the votes was boldness to express its stand with Russia, overwhelmed by how seemingly alone Russia stood in the house during the vote. But if China had courage enough, it would have voted alongside Russia, understanding the importance of Russian speaking people's constraints under Ukrainian authority. As China has not allowed its China-speaking population to remain outside of China, so also it would throw its support behind Russia to reclaim - democratically - its population which may have been erroneously positioned outside of Russia, especially when it was Crimea's desire to return. What China desires right now is courage to stand on its feet and not lean on USA or western Europe to be able to achieve it goals. The second largest economy behind USA (though second to none fiscally - being itself the most buoyant with more foreign reserve than every other), largest population, technologically hyper advanced, as well as permanent member of the UN Security Council etc. China is only a sleeping giant, but it's unaware of itself - simply oblivious of itself. With that position it makes itself available to be wooed and convinced by the chief lobbyists - USA - to make a diplomatic mistake that it can portray as China's alliance with the West in preference for Russia. What a fallacy!


by: Chih-Wei Chang from: Taiwan, Taipei
March 18, 2014 1:35 PM
It is so naive to think China is splitting with Russia. China wants to avoid comments on the vote, simply because they want to make the US influence weaker. There is always an excuse China can find to prove the Crimea referendum is different from Taiwanese referendum. I think Keith Darden either does not understand Chinese government or he has his own consideration to make this claim which is not true.

In Response

by: justice first from: us
March 19, 2014 8:45 PM
some people may associate the Crimea referendum with the so-called Taiwan referendum. China is certainly mindful of the possibility that some one may equate the two, and use a referendum as a political tool to separate Taiwan from China. Of course Taiwan has no Russia to turn to as its over lord, nor the US as a protector. Thus the secession of Taiwan from China is practically impossible in this century, unless China itself collapses. The argument that China is splitting from Russia is a bit over-stretched. It is fair to say China is protecting its rear in case there is a referendum in Taiwan.

In Response

by: Mr. Independent from: USA
March 19, 2014 2:27 PM
Agreed. This article is misinformation/propaganda. In no way is China splitting with Russia over the Ukrainian issue. This is senseless commentary by Professor Keith Darden, who obviously does not understand China’s stance.

In Response

by: Dave E. from: USA
March 18, 2014 5:46 PM
Exactly right. Nothing in the story supports its headline and if anything, the weak response from the West so far will make the CIS members more likely to toe Putin's line.


by: meanbill from: USA
March 18, 2014 1:10 PM
THE WISE MAN said it; ... China in no way took sides in the Ukraine Crimea dispute .. (BUT?) .. the US and EU make-up interpretations of the neutral position that China expressed..
The US and EU make-up what is meant, from what China didn't say.... (SAY the exact thing China said, and not give opinions on what they meant?) ... (like a political solution) .. like the one the people of Crimea voted for?) ........ REALLY


by: skiz from: ca
March 18, 2014 12:10 PM
China has no interest in supporting a more military strategic region of russia. Why would they? They share the same continent. Would Russia support a "diplomatic" invasion of their own country by China? It doesn't take extensive research to see why China is against this move by Russia. The thinner Russia's power is spread, the less threat they are to China in a potential conflict. China is smart in many ways but only the future will tell just how smart.


by: Yuggo from: Estonia
March 18, 2014 9:18 AM
Yury, read the history please and learn who was Hitler.
As for me, Russia made right desicion, so there will not be violence in Crimea like in Kiev and other regions


by: Yury from: Ukraine
March 18, 2014 5:07 AM
Putin is neo-Hitler. He is maniac of war. We together with all civilizations must stop it. If we all don't want great war in Europe (maybe all Earth), Western politics (and China's and other contries) must be more-more strong. Putin's Russia must be FULLY BLOCKED. Otherwise, WAR.

In Response

by: DEMOCRACY from: WASHINGTON
March 21, 2014 2:57 PM
Ukranies on this forum are border-line delusional. All civilized World should smite the Russia for messing with you? Dude, Westerners are more worried about NYSE losing 100 points than the fate of Ukraine. West will help you with rethorics and privately issued loans under very unfavourable conditions. Because you might default. Actually you are going bankrupt, because you are corrupt, disorganized, and nepotistic bunch. You will be encouraged by the West in impending civil war to go all the way against Ruskies from South East.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
March 18, 2014 1:20 PM
Putin is a super Russian patriot, and whatever he does, it'll be for Russia and the Russian people....
PS; ... No super power will fight a war against another, but one of them with it's allies, has been known to attack other defenseless countries..
Did Putin invade Ukraine without firing a shot? ...... REALLY

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