|To support us with a donation? Click here!Dialogue China BriefingWhat China Is ReadingIssue 105 – April 1, 2022In This IssueThe articles shared here do not necessarily reflect the views of China Newsletter or Dialogue China. All articles sourced from WeChat public accounts unless otherwise noted.I. Dialogue China Opinions1. Whether to Support Russia’s War of Aggression against Ukraine? Beijing Does Not Have a ChoiceII. Policy2. The State is Going to Intervene in the Chinese Abortion at the Edge of the Cliff. What Does This Mean?3. Internet Violence Causes Social Death, Should Be Concerned About its HarmIII. Politics4. Under What Circumstances Will China Abandon its Non-Alliance Policy?5. “We Must Take Down the Chinese Netizens.” The Subtle Differences and Alternative Plans of the United States-Russian Microblogging WarIV. Finance and Business6. GDP Growth Rate of 5.5 Percent Set Too Low? Astounding Astronomical Figure Hidden BehindDialogue China Opinions1. Whether to Support Russia’s War of Aggression against Ukraine? Beijing Does Not Have a ChoiceDialogue China Commentator – Dialogue China – April 1, 2022On February 24, 2022, under the pretext of “demilitarization and de-Nazification,” Russia – together with Belarus – launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The conflict became a full-scale war and quickly developed into the largest war in Europe since World War II. However, what is strange is that in this clear battle between Russia and the United States-led NATO, a shadowy ghost that cannot be exorcised appears – the Chinese Communist Party. Many people have the erroneous wishful thinking that Beijing is maintaining a neutral position in Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. In reality, however, the Chinese Communist Party is fully aligned with Putin.|
The inviolability of the sovereignty of any state is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and this, of course, includes Ukraine. In other words, there is no principle in international relations that can override the principle of national sovereignty. However, on such a matter of principle, Beijing has essentially put the issue of Russia’s security and national interests on par with Ukraine’s sovereignty. So, on the eve of China’s complete “decoupling” from the West, on the eve of Xi Jinping’s formal ascension to lifetime leadership of the Chinese Communist Party at the 20th National Congress this autumn, and on the road to Beijing’s recovery of Taiwan for a “Great Rejuvenation,” why does the Chinese Communist Party want to act in defiance of the world? Why is the Chinese Communist Party risking universal condemnation by supporting Russia, either explicitly or implicitly?
We will answer and analyze from three perspectives.
Whether it was the meeting between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin during the Beijing Winter Olympics or the subsequent statements by the Chinese and Russian foreign ministries on the war between Russia and Ukraine, all show clearly that Beijing is completely on the side of Moscow. Before and after the outbreak of the Russian – Ukrainian war, many countries withdrew their expatriates from Ukraine. But the Chinese embassy told Chinese students there to display their national flags to ensure their safety, which shows that Beijing thought Putin could win the war in Ukraine quickly at the beginning of the war, whether based on internal information from China and Russia or its own strategic research. However, Beijing later found out that the war was not going as smoothly as expected, so it changed its mind and told the students not to fly the national flag to identify themselves. In short, all of the above shows that Beijing’s attitude toward the war between Russia and Ukraine could never be neutral.
From March 5 to 9, 2022, United States Secretary of State Blinken, French President Macron, and German Chancellor Scholz all had conversations with Beijing. From NATO’s point of view, the West is actually conflicted: if China explicitly supports Russia, then China will join Russia against the West, and the West and China will clash head on. However, if Beijing does not explicitly support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, but only helps Russia privately, then the West can try to get Beijing to convince Russia to stop the war. But after the war in Ukraine, what will happen to the West and Beijing? In the end, if Russia is defeated in this war, Beijing will be the next target to be dealt with or retaliated against. The decoupling of China and the West will be further accelerated. This is one point.
Secondly, if the Russian – Ukrainian war continues, what will the relationship between China’s domestic politics and this war be? If Russia loses, and China places its bet on Russia, will it have any effect on Xi Jinping’s bid for lifetime leadership at this autumn’s 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party? At this point in time (March 15), the Russia – Ukraine war is relevant to this answer, but not necessarily of life – and – death significance.
If Xi Jinping openly and nakedly sides with Russia, then if Putin ultimately loses, Xi Jinping may face strong criticism and pressure for accountability from opposing forces at home. Therefore, the current stance of explicit neutrality and implicit support for Russia leaves room in domestic politics for maneuvering. Otherwise, if China’s diplomacy fails significantly, coupled with Western sanctions, Xi Jinping’s bid for staying on as leader indefinitely will be under additional pressure.
Thirdly, the greatest significance of the Russian – Ukrainian war for Beijing may be the focus it places on the Taiwan Strait issue. The weapons that the West is assisting Ukraine with, such as the individual soldier operated “Stinger” and “Javelin” missiles, have played a huge role in this war as defensive weapons, basically nullifying the Russian encirclement of Kiev and the rapid occupation of Ukraine. The March 9 Wall Street Journal also published an article saying that without the military technology of Russia and Ukraine, the Chinese army could not have come this far. Therefore, the weapons that the West supplies in Ukraine are the same weapons that the West may have to give to Taiwan in the future when Taiwan faces the aggression of the Chinese Communist Party.
Moreover, in terms of nationalism, when Beijing invades Taiwan in the future, Chinese civil opinion and official propaganda will be perfectly combined in the midst of the war to form the public opinion force supporting the Chinese Communist Party’s invasion of Taiwan. Just like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although many Russian people have come out openly against it and been arrested, the support rate of Putin in Russian society as a whole is actually on the rise.
The West remains unprecedentedly united on the issue of sanctions against Russia. In addition to the traditional oil sanctions, financial sanctions – including kicking Russia out of the SWIFT banking system – have also been used, as well as all kinds of civil cancelation culture against Russia, all of which Beijing should be extra vigilant against. Therefore, the future war in the Taiwan Strait will be similar to today’s Russia – Ukraine war, in which the West will provide strategic assistance based on defensive warfare, lengthen the battlefront, help clear obstacles on the periphery of the battlefield, provide electronic intelligence to Taiwan, this coupled with helping shape international public opinion condemning the invasion and economic sanctions.
In short, whether it is the issue of confrontation and decoupling between China and the West, the domestic political struggle for Xi Jinping’s appointment to lifetime leadership at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party this autumn, or the future conflict in the Taiwan Strait, all have destined China to side with Russia. This is not the result of a trade-off between two evils, but China’s only option.【Back to Top】Policy2. The State is Going to Intervene in the Chinese Influx at the Edge of the Cliff. What Does This Mean?Li Lin, Li Shanshan – Eight Point News – February 18, 2022Why Read This?
Last August, Wang Pei’an, secretary of the Party Committee of the China Family Planning Association, mentioned that “teenagers have become one of the main groups of people who have abortions. Unmarried teenagers have nearly 4 million abortions each year, accounting for 40 percent of all abortions in China.” Many problems, such as teenage abortions, are “leading to higher infertility rates and undermining national fertility” and have posed “a major threat to national population security.”（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Policy3. Internet Violence Causes Social Death, Should Be Concerned About its HarmWang Xu Qiulin – Southern Weekend – March 4, 2022Why Read This?
In traditional living spaces, defamation of individuals is not as diffuse. However, defamation in cyberspace is spreading rapidly and widely on the Internet, and the reputation of victims is seriously damaged and the public’s sense of security is destroyed. With the concepts and development trends of big data and metaverse, the Internet is becoming more and more deeply involved in people’s lives, and the study of Internet rule of law should not only be avoided, but also synchronized.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Politics4. Under What Circumstances Will China Abandon its Non-Alliance Policy?Patricia M. Kim – Frontiers in International Relations – February 11, 2022Why Read This?
This article is a study of alliance politics, providing an assessment of China’s potential alliance networks and an analysis of trends in its alliance strategies. The author argues that the deterioration of the external security environment and the growth of China’s own strategic ambitions are important reasons for China to construct its own alliance system. Therefore, China is likely to develop its existing strategic partnerships into real alliances.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Politics5. “We Must Take Down the Chinese Netizens.” The Subtle Differences and Alternative Plans of the United States-Russian Microblogging WarChen Xuefei – International Forum – March 2, 2022Why Read This?
Recently, on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, countries have been openly confronting each other over the Ukraine crisis, which has triggered a public debate. In the Internet era, it is becoming more and more common for major powers to play on public social media platforms, and as China gradually moves towards the world stage, China’s public opinion has become the target of competitive public diplomacy by major powers. Although the United States and Russia have different competition strategies, their ultimate goal is to win the emotional position of Chinese public opinion and achieve the effect of public opinion war with half the effort.（Read the full text）
【Back to top】Finance and Business6. GDP Growth Rate of 5.5 Percent Set Too Low? Astounding Astronomical Figure Hidden BehindSheng Zhongming, Yang Bohan, Yu Yongding – Beijing Cultural Review – March 5, 2022Why Read This?
On March 5, 2022, the Chinese government’s work report proposed that China’s GDP is expected to grow by about 5.5% this year. This is generally in line with market expectations. Given the severe global inflation and the lack of optimism in the economy, what does such a growth target mean for China’s economy?（Read the full text）
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