How to Respond to China’s Tacit Support of Putin’s War

March 31 2022

While the West has united in its condemnation of the Russian assault on Ukraine, China has refused to condemn Moscow at the UN or elsewhere. Russia and China have strong ideological, economic, and military ties, noted Dan Negrea, and he further argues that the West should act quickly and forcefully to prevent China from more substantive support of Putin’s aggression.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin met in February at the Beijing Olympics, their 38th visit in the nine years since Xi took power. In a 5,000-word statement on February 4, Xi and Putin proclaimed their friendship with “no limits” and “no forbidden areas of cooperation.” Just weeks before the invasion, China signed agreements to buy from Russia energy and agricultural products worth over $200 billion.

Despite early reports that Xi was displeased with Putin’s decision to invade, China has since refused to condemn Russia at the UN and elsewhere—and has prohibited criticism of Russia in the Chinese media and on its heavily censored Internet. This close partnership also had a military aspect: Russia felt comfortable enough to move two-thirds of the troops it normally kept on the Chinese border to the Ukrainian front.

China cannot be shamed into abandoning its support for Russia’s brutal aggression. We know this as the U.S. and the free world have publicly condemned the genocide in Xinjiang, but China has not relented. Yet China is vulnerable to economic pressure. The Chinese people accept the dictatorship of the Communist party in the expectation that their standard of living will continue to increase.

But China’s economic news has not been great recently. Its growth is pegged at just 5.5 percent this year, about half of what it has been since 1978. Even this may prove optimistic.

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More about: China, Russia, War in Ukraine

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy