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Ukraine and the war of rumours in Taiwan

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Perhaps the new thing that stopped the Egyptian researcher during the current military confrontations between Russia and Ukraine was the “war of concepts” and the distraction of internal public opinion in Taiwan through a number of Americans and foreigners residing there, and an attempt to mobilize Taiwan public opinion against its own leaders in the face of China. This is what Taiwanese President “Tsai”, despite her disloyalty to the Beijing government, noticed by calling for not to pay attention to the “war of rumors”, which are broadcasting by a number of foreign forces and elements, with the aim of “igniting strife and dividing the country and citizens against each other”, instead of uniting them in confrontation  Hence, a call was made to all (Taiwanese government units, information technology centers and Internet monitoring) to prevent these targeted fallacies and stop spreading and broadcasting these malicious rumors, which seek to fragment Taiwanese society and push it to confront its own government and leaders, with the aim of (igniting the Taiwan situation  With Beijing in favor of the United States of America and the West).

  Therefore, during the confrontations between Russia and Ukraine, the Taiwanese government prepared at the present time to prevent the “war of rumours, and the dissemination of false information in the face of the Taiwan government and its leaders to ignite war and verbal hostility with the leaders of the Communist Party of China in Beijing”. These fallacies and propaganda news mainly spread by those foreign forces. And their accomplices, on the domestic scene in Taiwan, according to the assurances of officials and leaders of the Taiwan government itself, as follows:

  The United States of America plays propaganda in Taiwan, and Washington encouraged Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to form a (working group within the National Security Council of Taiwan) with the sole aim of following up on the Ukrainian crisis with Russia as a similar situation to the Taiwanese case with China, especially after “Putin” announced on Monday, February 21, his recognition of the two separatist regions in the “Donbass”, concern increased clearly in the corridors of the Taiwanese government, based on what was ignited by the US policy with its hostile attitudes and opposition to the policies of China, and this was reflected in the statements of Taiwanese President Tsai herself. Although “Tsai” said in earlier periods, emphasizing:

  “There are fundamental differences between Taiwan and Ukraine in terms of geopolitics, traditional geography and global supply chains”

  But it is worth analyzing here, and what stopped me personally, analytically and academically, is (the extent to which Taiwanese President Tsai realizes that same American and Western conspiracy to push China to confront and invade Taiwan, to achieve Washington’s aims and purposes in confronting China globally by exploiting the Russian crisis with Ukraine). This is what I interpreted analytically by carefully stopping at the ambiguous and understandable “Cai” phrase for me at the same time, to suggest its understanding of what Washington and the West aim at exploiting the Ukraine crisis to encourage China to do the same in Taiwan. Tsai’s explicit assertion about:

  At the same time, Taiwan is facing foreign powers that intend to take advantage of the situation in Ukraine to affect the morale of Taiwanese society. Therefore, all Taiwan government units must be strengthened, and all their preparations are put in place to prevent the “war of concepts, false and distorted information”, which is spread by those forces.  foreigners and their accomplices “in the domestic arena of Taiwan”

  Following up on the official Chinese response to Taiwan President “Tsai’s statements”, it came through all Chinese official media and newspapers affiliated with the ruling Communist Party in China, in major press headlines, emphasizing the following:

  “Comparisons between the Ukrainian and Taiwanese issues are inappropriate, and it is inappropriate to point out that after the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis with Russia, and constantly remind many of the Taiwan issue, simply because these people lack even the slightest understanding of the Taiwan issue with respect to China, because the Taiwan issue  It has arisen as a result of civil war and political confrontations, but the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Chinese state has not been and cannot be divided, and this is the current status of the Taiwan issue, because Taiwan is in fact not Ukraine, Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of the territory of China, and this is a fact  Historic and legal are indisputable, and the principle of “one China” is an accepted standard of international relations, and that peace on the Taiwan island has become dependent on the peaceful development of relations between Beijing and Taipei, and not on Taiwan’s co-optation of foreign powers in the hope of selling weapons or providing military support.  China can sum up the Taiwan issue for the international community, that Taiwan’s independence is a road that leads nowhere, and no one should misunderstand or underestimate it”

  China is also trying to respond to the “war of malicious American and Western rumors within Taiwanese society with the aim of dividing it in the face of the Beijing government”, through China’s attempts to explain the reality of the current situation, and the extent of the West and the United States of America’s desire to be present in the region to cause division and the collapse of countries, while provoking the  China has these concerns that it rejects the expansion of  “NATO”, such as the position of its Russian ally on Ukraine, in order to ensure the future security interests of China and Taiwan, especially with those American attempts to include both “Australia and Japan” in  “NATO” membership, as well as what I personally noticed among those repeated visits made by former US Defense Secretary “Mark Esper” during the Trump era to Australia, and his meeting with the Australian Minister of Defense to agree on Australia’s membership in “NATO”, which raises the ire and fears of China. Therefore, the Ukraine-Russia crisis came as an occasion (to confirm the Chinese rejection of the US polarization of neighboring countries and the direct regional influence of Russia and China).

  Here, the Chinese attempts to allay the fears of the Taiwanese, through (what is broadcast by the official Chinese media and newspapers affiliated with the ruling Communist Party in Beijing), by emphasizing that the policy of standing and implicitly Chinese solidarity with Moscow, Beijing and Taiwan win the same “cards”, as a great diplomatic pressure in the face of any future attempts to annex neighboring countries, such as: (Japan and Australia), as a threat to the national security of China and Taiwan as a similar case to the Russian affairs.

  China constantly responds that the recent developments of the Ukrainian crisis are closely related to Ukraine’s failure to implement the “Minsk II Agreement”, which was agreed upon, due to (the United States and its NATO allies support Ukraine in the face of Russia).

  As a clear understanding from the Chinese government and the ruling Communist Party leaders of the nature of the crisis in Ukraine and its link to the Taiwanese case of the Taiwan and global mobilization in the face of China, China follows a policy related to (either trying to support Russia clearly, or refraining from giving any opinion), for example when it included Russia and the President  “Putin” Crimea in 2014, China did not vote and did not use (the right of veto), like Russia, on the issuance of a UN Security Council resolution regarding that Russian move, and China chose at the time (to abstain from voting), and preferred it to provide economic support in full.  for the Russian side.

  In general, there are strong Chinese fears that (its interests in Europe are exposed to great danger, represented by the deterioration of China’s relations with the countries of the European Union, in addition, of course, to the American conflict front), and the same applies to the Chinese domestic front in the Taiwan case.

   China is also trying, with Russian help, to work on (setting a new definition of new global principles of democracy and human rights that fit their agendas), which is precisely what was stated in the (Sino-Russian Joint Declaration during the Beijing Winter Olympics), as a blatant challenge in the face of the United States of America and its allies, and transcends the crisis. The same Ukrainian crisis here, concerning the (joint statement) from Russia and China included many phrases that challenge the definitions of democracy and human rights in the American and Western concept, with accusations of the West and Washington of violating these principles for many years. This sparked strong European criticism against Beijing in the first place.

  Here, China actually considers that “the battle of Ukraine is a battle for the existence of the international system that was established on the ruins of the former Soviet Union”. Therefore, without any exaggeration, it is a Chinese battle par excellence, and puts China against Taiwan with the aim of igniting a conflict between the two parties in favor of Washington and its allies in the “NATO” alliance, which is realized by both the Chinese government and the Taiwan government itself, as stated by the Taiwanese Prime Minister “Ing-Wen Cai”.

   China’s view is that the United States of America and its allies are promoting propaganda regarding the “China’s exploitation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to launch a war against Taiwan, to mobilize the whole world against China and Russia together”, which China has denied and is constantly trying to deny to the Taiwanese people at the present time until the Russian preoccupation with the crisis of its conflict with Ukraine is not being exploited by opening other fronts of internal conflict, mainly between China and Taiwan.

  Perhaps the only point from my point of view, that China plays on the Ukrainian crisis, is “the lack of direct Chinese support and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, and China is trying to circumvent the “policy of economic sanctions against Russia”, which is understood specifically after the announcement of the United States of America and its allies in the West imposed economic and financial sanctions against Russia, due to the recognition of the independence of the separatist regions of “Donetsk and Luhansk”, and before the invasion began, China faced a storm of Western and American questions, regarding: whether Beijing would impose sanctions on Moscow?, But the Chinese response here was quite direct and clear and was attended by Beijing, certainly that:

  “China opposes any unilateral sanctions against Russia, as for those questions whether China will impose sanctions on Russia or not? It is clear that whoever writes, analyzes or utters these questions and inquiries hardly understands the Chinese government’s policy enough, because China always opposes unilateral illegal sanctions, which is exactly what China has in the Russian case”

  At the present time, and through my follow-up to the analyzes of all Chinese think tanks, there is a general trend and line in Chinese policy, based on “the Chinese mobilization in rejecting any sanctions against its Russian ally”. We find here that all Chinese analyzes are attacking the US sanctions policy, with the justification that since 2011, the United States of America has begun a policy of imposing sanctions on Russia more than 100 times, but the Chinese policy is more rational and rational, because when thinking calmly or discussing the matter, we will definitely reach  For China’s confirmed view (for the failure of all US policies to impose sanctions on its opponents around the world).

  We will also find that (the Chinese political discourse has become unified on both the internal and external fronts, by asking the logical Chinese question: whether the policy of unilateral US sanctions has solved the problem or any other crisis with Russia or even others such as Iran and North Korea?), then the Chinese questions started, regarding:Did the unilateral US sanctions policy able to change the behavior of Russia or the behavior of other sanctioned powers and countries?

-Did the unilateral US sanctions policy able to change the behavior of Russia or the behavior of other sanctioned powers and countries?

-Has the world changed for the better because of the US sanctions policy?

-Will the US economic sanctions policy, and others, solve all those problems inherited in Ukraine due to the imposition of a few economic or financial sanctions against Russia?

-Finally, will security in Europe and the world become more reliable and stronger because of US sanctions against Russia and others?

By understanding this Chinese proposition and analysis, we will come to the conclusion that, in general, the Chinese think tanks and the Chinese diplomacy themselves express the importance that all parties concerned seriously consider the issue of economic sanctions, by (making international and regional efforts to solve the Ukrainian issue through the policy of dialogue and consultations  and not imposing sanctions), given that China’s position on the Ukrainian issue is consistent and does not change, and China’s position on this issue is consistent with its long-standing position that it should strengthen dialogue and consultation to solve regional hotspot issues. China, in particular, assures the Taiwanese in the face of the war of rumors to divide them in its confrontation, that (there is still hope for a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis), despite the continuous escalation of Russian tensions in its confrontation.

Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit

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Assad’s visit to China: Breaking diplomatic isolation and rebuilding Syria

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Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Hangzhou, capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province, Sept. 22, 2023. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

The visit of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to China to participate in the opening of the Asian Games came as a serious step to try to break the diplomatic isolation from Syria.  Syrian President “Bashar Al-Assad” was keen to meet his counterpart Xi Jinping in the city of Hangzhou in eastern China, where the Asian Games are being held, as this was the Syrian president’s first visit to China since 2004.  According to the Syrian regime’s Al-Watan newspaper, Al-Assad will attend the launch ceremony of the (nineteenth edition) of the Asian Games, which will open on September 23, in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.  This visit to Bashar al-Assad reflects the great coordination between Moscow and Beijing, as it is likely that the Russians pushed for this visit at this precise time.  Perhaps, through his visit to China, Bashar al-Assad is trying to deliver a specific message about the start of “international legitimization” of his regime.  Syria’s accession to the Belt and Road Initiative in January 2022 is an indication of the possibility of implementing vital Chinese projects, especially since it is located between Iraq and Turkey, making it a vital corridor for land routes towards Europe.

 Bashar Al-Assad’s visit to China also comes in an attempt to attract it to reconstruction projects in the affected areas in Syria, as China has the ability to complete reconstruction infrastructure in residential and civilian areas with exceptional speed. This is the same as what the Chinese ambassador to Syria “Shi Hongwei” announced in August 2023, that “Chinese companies are actively involved in reconstruction projects in Syria”. The war in Syria led to massive destruction of infrastructure and the destruction of many vital sectors of the Syrian economy, including oil, while the Syrian government is subject to harsh international sanctions.  We find that the Chinese side has shown great interest in the reconstruction projects in Surba, such as the presence of more than a thousand Chinese companies to participate in (the first trade exhibition on Syrian reconstruction projects in Beijing), while they pledged investments estimated at two billion dollars.

  China played an active role through diplomatic movements in Syria, as it participated in the “Astana” process, and obstructed Security Council resolutions related to Syria, to confirm its position in support of Damascus, using its veto power more than once in the Security Council, against resolutions considered to be a blow to Assad’s “legitimacy”.  In September 2017, the Syrian regime classified China, along with Russia and Iran, as “friendly governments” that would give priority to reconstruction projects. Therefore, Al-Assad affirmed during his meeting with Chinese President “Xi Jinping” that: “this visit is important in terms of its timing and circumstances, as a multipolar world is being formed today that will restore balance and stability to the world, and it is the duty of all of us to seize this moment for the sake of a bright and promising future”.

  According to my analysis, China follows the policy of “breaking diplomatic isolation on presidents and countries against which America is angry”, so the visit of “Bashar al-Assad” comes within a series of visits that China witnessed during the current year in 2023, to presidents who are isolated internationally by the United States of America, such as: Venezuelan President “Nicolas  Maduro”, the Iranian President ”Ibrahim Raisi”, and the Belarusian “Alexander Lukashenko”.

  China is also keen to conduct interviews in its newspapers and official websites affiliated with the ruling Communist Party with many presidents and officials of countries isolated internationally and diplomatically by the United States of America and the West, such as the Chinese keenness to conduct and publish an interview with Syrian Foreign Minister “Faisal Mekdad” on September 21, 2023, and the Chinese reviewed his statements, saying that “the United States of America has plundered oil, natural gas, and other resources from Syria, causing losses worth $115 billion”. The Chinese newspaper “Global Times”, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, also focused on the United States’ greater role in the deterioration of “Syria from stability to chaos” . The Chinese newspaper compared this to China’s policy, which constantly calls for peaceful dialogue and opposes “foreign interference” .

   Through his visit to China, Syrian President “Bashar Al-Assad” is trying to lay the foundations for joint cooperation between China and Syria within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, with full Chinese support for Syria’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner. China has always affirmed its firm support for Syria’s efforts against foreign interference, with the Chinese rejection of the stationing of illegal forces on Syrian territory. China is also making great efforts with many countries to lift sanctions and the illegal economic blockade on the Syrian people, in addition to Chinese support for building Syrian capabilities in the field of combating terrorism. Knowing that despite its alliance with President “Bashar Al-Assad”, China did not participate in supporting him militarily, but it used the right of criticism to obstruct the passage of resolutions against him in the Security Council.

   We can reach an important conclusion that Bashar Al-Assad’s visit to China has a greater political track, and that Beijing is trying to play a greater role in the issue of resolving conflicts or to have a greater actual role in negotiations related to sensitive issues in the region. The implications of Assad’s visit to China are also politically significant, as China is trying to play a greater political role in the region, as China has been trying since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war and the emergence of a vacuum in the Middle East as a result of the decline of Russian influence due to its preoccupation with the war, so Beijing is trying to expand in the Middle East and Africa. 

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China’s Inclusive Diplomacy for Global Cooperation

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President Xi Jinping’s address at the recently held 2023 CIFTIS resonates as a powerful call for inclusive development and cooperation in the services trade sector. China’s commitment to expanding market access, increasing connectivity, and aligning policies with global standards demonstrates its commitment to ensuring a level playing field for all nations.

This commitment extends across different sectors, including telecommunications, tourism, law, vocational examinations, and the larger services sector. President Xi’s address emphasized China’s intention to expand broader, broaden market access, and support inclusive development in the services trade sector. His sentiments resonate with the global world as China seeks to create new prospects for openness, cooperation, and economic equality.

Over the last few decades, the services trade landscape has changed drastically, becoming an essential component of international business. However, this expansion has not been uniform, with developing countries frequently encountering difficulties such as limited market access, complex rules, and capacity limits that prevent them from fully participating in international services trade.

Notably, China is committed to promoting inclusive growth in the services trade sector. It assured of taking continuing steps to accelerate Chinese modernization through high-quality development, to open up new avenues for openness and collaboration for all countries.

Through openness, cooperation, innovation, and shared services, China emphasized the need for inclusive growth and connectivity. Recognizing that a rising tide in services trade should raise all boats, particularly those from nations with limited resources, China has launched a series of ground-breaking initiatives. Additionally, China is actively expanding its network of high-standard free trade areas, participating in negotiations on the negative list for trade in services and investment.

China is setting an example by aligning its policies with international standards. President Xi highlighted in his speech that national integrated demonstration zones for increased openness in the services sector, suitable pilot free trade zones, and free trade ports will be at the forefront of aligning policies with high-standard international economic and trade regulations. These zones demonstrate China’s commitment to fostering an atmosphere conducive to international cooperation and growth.

Real-world examples vividly demonstrate the practical impact of China’s assistance to developing countries in the services trade. China’s investments in transport infrastructure, such as the Standard Gauge Railway, have considerably facilitated the flow of goods and people in Kenya, boosting the services sector indirectly.

Pakistan’s experience with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is similar, with improved physical connectivity catalyzing the expansion of digital services and e-commerce. Various infrastructure developments in Indonesia have resulted in spectacular advances, opening up new potential for services trade.

Ethiopia, too, has reaped the benefits of China’s commitment, with active participation in industrial parks reviving the services sector, which includes logistics, banking, and education. These real-life success stories highlight China’s critical role in facilitating the expansion and development of services trade in developing countries.

China’s commitment to capacity building and technical aid is critical in its support for developing countries in the services trade. China provides these countries with the knowledge and skills they need to participate effectively in the services trade by offering specialized programs. Furthermore, China’s significant investments in infrastructure projects such as ports, logistical hubs, and telecommunications networks play an important role in facilitating the smooth flow of services.

Furthermore, China’s commitment to reducing entry barriers and optimizing regulations indicates the country’s persistent commitment to creating an equitable environment. This approach not only promotes equitable possibilities but also simplifies market access, making it easier for developing countries to export their services to China’s enormous and dynamic market.

Furthermore, China gives significant financial support in the form of loans and grants for service trade-related initiatives, recognizing the financial problems that many developing countries confront. This financial assistance enables nations to overcome economic challenges and invest in the expansion and improvement of their service sectors, thereby encouraging economic equality and cooperation.

As the world continues to evolve, services trade will play an increasingly important role in global economic growth, and China’s leadership in this realm is helping to shape a future where opportunities are shared, disparities are reduced, and cooperation knows no bounds. It is a vision worthy of appreciation and support since it is consistent with the ideals of justice and equality, moving the globe closer to a more linked and wealthy global community.

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East Asia

China’s Multilateral Engagement and Constructive Role in the G20



Image source: X @narendramodi

The recent G20 Summit in India has once again taken center stage, attracting global attention as it gathered together leaders and delegates from the world’s 20 most powerful economies. This high-profile event was significant in shaping international relations and addressing serious global concerns due to its broad presence and crucial talks. This high-stakes gathering occurs at a pivotal juncture, marked by escalating divisions among major powers on a multitude of pressing global issues, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, global economic recovery, food security, and climate change.

The recent inclusion of the African Union (AU) as a permanent member within the G20 serves as a positive signal, signifying consensus among major economies. However, lurking concerns persist about the formidable challenges involved in achieving unity and issuing a joint declaration in the midst of these complex global dynamics.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s opening remarks at the 18th G20 Summit in New Delhi resonate as he underscores the paramount importance of unity and collaboration among G20 member nations. He emphasizes the critical need for effective coordination of macroeconomic policies to restore hope and generate momentum for long-term economic growth.

 Premier Li eloquently highlights the interconnectedness of humanity’s destiny and calls upon nations to demonstrate mutual respect, seek common ground while momentarily setting aside differences, and work tirelessly towards peaceful coexistence. In a world characterized by profound crises and shared hardships, he aptly observes that no nation can thrive in isolation. Therefore, the only plausible pathways for guiding humanity forward are those rooted in cooperation and harmony.

The G20, originally established to navigate global financial crises and forge collective strategies for addressing economic challenges while fostering global economic development, has, regrettably, experienced a decline in consensus and a rise in differences among major powers. This shift has been particularly evident since the onset of the Ukraine crisis and the United States’ strategy of containment against China. Consequently, the G20 is increasingly devolving into a forum marked by discord, rather than the once-productive and constructive multilateral mechanism it was intended to be.

Nevertheless, the G20 retains its significance as a pivotal forum for international collaboration in confronting global challenges. With the increasing contributions of developing nations like China, India, and African countries, the voices within the G20 have diversified, no longer solely dominated by Western perspectives. As a response, the United States seeks to regain control of the multilateral process to further its agenda of great power competition. However, this approach is unlikely to be warmly received by the broader international community.

China remains steadfast in its commitment to deepen reforms and open up further to foster high-quality development and its unique brand of modernization. China views itself as a catalyst for additional momentum in global economic recovery and sustainable development. China stands ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to contribute to the well-being of our shared Earth, our common home, and the future of humanity. Despite Western media’s attempts to sensationalize China’s stance and magnify perceived differences, China continues to play a constructive role within the G20, dedicated to its multilateral mission.

To ensure that the G20 remains a platform focused on global governance rather than being overshadowed by geopolitical conflicts, China remains determined to fulfill its constructive role within the group, regardless of attempts by Western powers to politicize the mechanism. China’s efforts have expanded the G20 to include the African Union, effectively transforming it into the “G21.” China was the first nation to endorse African Union membership in the G20 and advocates for the African Union to assume an even more significant role in international governance.

The growing divisions and disputes within the G20 have eroded its effectiveness as a platform for addressing global challenges. These divisions, primarily driven by American actions and policies, have spawned tensions with far-reaching global implications, from the Ukraine crisis to escalating tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. These developments underscore the critical role the G20 plays in promoting cooperation and unity.

Amid the current geopolitical landscape characterized by major powers’ divisions, tensions have surged, resonating globally and causing ripple effects. From the Ukraine crisis to tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea, the significance of the G20’s role in fostering cooperation and unity cannot be overstated.

All G20 member nations must recognize the urgent imperative of cooperation in building a world that is safer, more prosperous, and increasingly peaceful. Given the global challenges that transcend narrow national interests, effective responses can only be crafted through international cooperation. The G20 stands as a pivotal arena for this cooperation, with China’s positive contribution being indispensable in promoting cohesion.

Despite Western media’s efforts to sensationalize China’s position and magnify perceived gaps, China remains a committed multilateral partner within the G20, dedicated to constructive engagement. The G20 continues to serve as a critical platform for addressing global concerns, fostering unity, and promoting international collaboration. As the world grapples with intricate issues, it remains imperative that nations adhere to the principles of multilateralism and collaborate relentlessly to secure a more prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable future for all.

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