Saturday, March 09, 2024

Sensing US fractured foreign policy, China formulates its foreign policy with Taiwan and recognition of independent Palestine top priorities

    Saturday, March 09, 2024   No comments

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US foreign policy was built on a compelling narrative of human rights and democracy and on a powerful military. Because powerful militaries need justifying rhetoric, the US prioritized is human rights claims. The nexus between human rights norms and Western intervention has collapsed with the ongoing starvation of civilians in Gaza and the near total destruction of homes and infrastructure in the Strip. The difference of Western postures to the war and Ukraine and the War in Gaza made the disconnect even more obvious. China sees these developments as an opportunity to create a foreign policy that is more consistent and that benefit from the self-inflicted injuries of Western powers. The analysis of current events provides more background information.


In Beijing yesterday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a press conference on the sidelines of the “Meeting of the Second Session of the 14th National People’s Congress,” in which he discussed the “shape” that the foreign policy of the “People’s Republic of China” will take during the coming year. While the Chinese official repeated some of the well-known broad lines of his country’s foreign policy, it seemed remarkable that he escalated “in tone” with regard to some files, especially those related to “Taiwan independence” and American practices towards China. On the other hand, in response to a question about Chinese-Russian relations, Wang Yi stressed that Moscow and Beijing had made the choice to “preserve bilateral relations and develop them strategically, on the basis of the fundamental interests of the two peoples,” considering that the two countries had established a “new model” of relations between large countries. It is represented by a commitment to permanent good neighborliness and deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation on the basis of non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of a third party,” which “is different from what existed during the Cold War.” Speaking about the latter, the Chinese official considered that “this war should not be repeated,” given that the people have now “rejected the idea of hegemony” and will not accept division. When asked about the Israeli crimes committed in the Gaza Strip, Yi stressed that the “inability” to stop “the humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the twenty-first century, is tragic for humanity, and a disgrace to civilization,” noting that “what “There is no pretext or excuse that justifies the continuation of the conflict and the killing of civilians,” he said. Wang Yi also stressed that “it is not permissible to continue to ignore the long-term occupation of the Palestinian territories, and the aspirations of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state, as well as the continuation of the historical injustice that this people has suffered over the generations, without correcting it.” According to the Chinese official, “Getting out of the spiral of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all, removing the fertile ground for extremist ideas of all kinds, and truly achieving lasting peace in the Middle East is not possible except by restoring the Palestinian people’s rights,” and implementing the “two-state solution.” In a comprehensive manner. He also renewed the call for granting Palestine “full membership in the Security Council,” along with “holding a more effective and credible international peace conference,” to set a timetable for implementing the principle of the “two-state solution.” With regard to Taiwan, Beijing, through its Foreign Minister, reiterated Emphasizing that its “clear” policy is to continuously seek the peaceful reunification of the island, warning, in return, that “the red line is clear” on this issue as well, which is not to allow “the separation of Taiwan from the motherland.” Wang Yi added, addressing the authorities in Taiwan and their allies: “Whoever prepares (for Taiwan independence) from within the island of Taiwan will inevitably be held accountable by history. Whoever tolerates that independence and supports it on the international scene will be consumed by the fire he kindled, and will eat the bitter fruits he sowed.” Wang Yi also called on all Chinese people to “give priority to the supreme national interest” and oppose Taiwan independence “together.”


Prior to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statements, some Chinese media outlets, especially the state-owned Global Times newspaper, hinted that Prime Minister Li Qiang had escalated, in the annual “government work report” he submitted to the “Chinese People’s Congress,” regarding... Taiwan, as he did not mention the term “peaceful reunification,” stressing instead that China “will be resolute in pushing for the reunification of China.” While some Western observers said that this step was “deliberate” by Beijing, considering that it may be “an indication of a more assertive future stance towards Taiwan,” the deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University did not deny this, in an interview with the newspaper. The Chinese, the aforementioned point of view, considered that deleting the phrase “indicates that confronting secession attempts and containing Taiwan independence provocations will be a more urgent and practical task for the mainland in the coming years.”

Although the Chinese Foreign Minister stressed, once again, the necessity of not dragging Beijing and Washington into any kind of confrontation or conflict, in order to avoid “unpleasant consequences,” he quickly “escalated” his criticism of American practices, asking: “If The United States was saying one thing and doing another, so where is its credibility as a major country? If the United States feels tense and anxious just hearing the name (China), where is its self-confidence as a major country? (...)». He added that Washington faces problems “with itself, not with China,” considering that the American “addiction” to Beijing’s “suppression” will ultimately harm the United States itself. The Chinese minister’s criticism also extended to Europe, as he saw that the latter “classified China in three categories at the same time, that is, partner, competitor, and systemic adversary,” considering that such a classification is unrealistic and unenforceable.

Rim Hani


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