Wise Bear on the Mountaintop

At the regularly scheduled briefing in October 2011, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin said that “China has no intention nor energy to seek global leadership.”

I need to make it very clear that I sympathize with the Chinese government’s position. Maybe in the future the international community will examine its position and the entire Chinese government will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for extraordinary efforts in strengthening international diplomacy and cooperation among peoples. US President Barack Obama got just that award in 2009. Now, the Obama administration is preparing a military invasion of Iran, but that’s a trivial detail. No one can possibly argue that America’s current president isn’t strengthening cooperation among nations. He may have a somewhat unique understanding of the word “cooperation,” but he admitted honestly and openly that he smoked marijuana in his youth. Surely such an open and honest person can’t be an evil, trigger-happy maniac. Maybe he made a little mistake, but who hasn’t?

It’s wonderful that China has neither the intent nor the energy to seek global leadership. But does it mean that after hearing such a sincere confession of peaceableness President Obama will abandon his “Return to Asia” strategy, cease construction on the military base in Darwin and stop putting together a military bloc against China?

Liu Weimin spoke in response to a statement by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who had decided to assure the international community that Russia is a peaceloving country. Putin emphatically said: “You know, I have said many times to those who try to scare us with the Chinese threat—mainly our Western partners—that the modern world is not exclusively focused on fighting for the mineral riches of Siberia and the Far East, attractive though they are. They are vying for global leadership, and Russia is not going to race China to it. It has other rivals in that business, so let them settle it between themselves.”

It’s nice when it’s not just mighty China but Russia also, with its thermonuclear missiles, advocating peace throughout the world and assuring the public that it has no hegemonic ambitions. China got a little offended when it learned that another country considers itself even more peaceable than super-peaceloving China. That’s why Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin hastened to clarify what Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said and drew attention to the media’s mistaken interpretation of his remarks.

“I have noted the discrepancy,” said Liu Weimin, “between some reports and Prime Minister Putin’s original remarks. He emphasized in the interview China’s role as an important strategic partner of Russia, expressed satisfaction with China-Russia good-neighborly friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and the sound development momentum of bilateral strategic partnership of coordination and applauded, in particular, the two countries’ accommodation of each other’s concerns and active pursuit of win-win outcomes in bilateral cooperation.” After that remark, Liu Weimin spoke the sentence I quoted above: “China has no intention nor energy to seek global leadership.”

While the governments of Russia and China are competing to see which is the most peaceable, the humblest and the least ambitious, the US government is preparing to invade Iran and, probably, Syria as well. As we know, tyranny is rampant and human rights are being violated in Syria, and it won’t appreciate the charms of democracy until it has experienced the joy of being bombed.

Naturally, after US bombers bring Iran and Syria peace, prosperity and democracy, other countries where there is something amiss with rights and freedoms will get their turn. For example, China is violating the rights of the Tibetans. In addition, China is the United States’ largest creditor, which makes the Tibetan issue a special tragedy. All is not well in Russia, either. Yes, it’s time to face the truth. Russia has a lot of oil and gas and a bad human rights record. And it has that awful Mr. Putin, who will soon become president again…

So. About Russia.

Russia really is a peaceable country. However, her love of peace does not mean that the administration in Washington has no intention of inculcating democracy in it, perhaps with a “color revolution.” The US government has not chosen the “color” path because it has lost faith in the effectiveness of bombing, but because an attempt to bomb Russia back to the stone age could result in the United States being set back to the early Paleolithic. All of those Russian nuclear weapons and the failed Nazi blitzkrieg of the recent past fail to inspire optimism in the Pentagon.

In Russia, therefore, Washington is inclined to rely more on a “color revolution” than the direct use of force. Are there examples? Certainly! I have a lot of them.

For example, the Obama administration intends on creating a fund to support Russian civil society. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia spoke about that during Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on December 14, 2011. The fund will have $50 million. According to Melia, the money will go to non-governmental organizations committed to a more pluralistic and open society in Russia. Melia also mentioned that since 2009 the US government has allocated about $160 million to support democracy and civil society in Russia.

In my opinion, a $160 million investment in Russian democracy is a cheap price to pay for the profits Washington expects to receive by establishing a civil society in Russia under US control. But $160 million obviously isn’t all. Much larger amounts pass through intelligence channels, etc.

Here’s another example. In 2009, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) gave Russian human rights organizations grants totaling $3,785,847. The NED is a private non-profit foundation which seeks to promote and strengthen democratic institutions throughout the world. Annually, the NED makes more than 1000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental organizations abroad that are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries. As one of its directors, Alan Weinstein, has admitted, the foundation was created by the State Department to do openly what the CIA previously did covertly.

In June 2010, NED’s official website posted a report on the foundation’s expenditures in 2009. The total amount of grants corresponds to a figure of about 115,468,334 rubles. If you’re interested, you can visit the site and see a list of the recipients.

After that, it shouldn’t be surprising that some people on the Internet track materials published on government—and non-government—websites, and, as they say, “talk trash” in the comments. The NED paid at least $72,000 for that in 2009.

So while the wise Chinese monkey and the easy-going Russian bear are competing to be the most peaceloving, the angry American eagle is sitting on a mountain top and sharpening its claws and beak in anticipation of some good pickings. What do I mean by that? In China’s era of historical materialism, Chairman Mao liked to tell the parable of a wise monkey who also sat on a high mountain and watched two tigers fighting. The monkey was China and the tigers were the United States and the Soviet Union.

As we know, wisdom is contagious. Now Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is the one who says (I repeat): “They are vying for global leadership, and Russia is not going to race China to it. It has other rivals in that business, so let them settle it between themselves.” What is that if not the famous Chinese parable of the wise monkey? Because Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is also chairman of the United Russia party, whose symbol is the brown bear, the Russian parable is about a wise brown bear that climbed a mountain and decided to watch the angry American eagle fight the post-Maoist monkey.

And that leads to a question. After the eagle has dealt with its Chinese creditor, won’t it fly to the mountaintop and peck out the wise bear’s sharp eyes? Isn’t it about time to come down off the mountain and force the US State Department to become peaceable?

I fully support Liu Weimin’s view that China is an important strategic partner of Russia. Sooner or later, it will be necessary to force the United States to become peaceable, and I suspect that the world’s two most peaceloving countries—China and Russia—will have to be the ones that do it. However, that’s a topic for another discussion.

Source: New Eastern Outlook

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