23 February 2010

Trend: Why China, and others, stubbornly defend "rogue" nations

On 17 February 2010, the German newspaper "Die Welt" published an article by a member of its staff, Clemens Wergin, titled "Deshalb unterstützt China die Schurkenstaaten". The article has since been translated into English by Stephanie Martin – rather freely, if the title she chose, "Why China, and Others, Stubbornly Defend Rogue Nations", is anything to go by – and can be read here:


Excerpts: "Since Russia has now swung around to the view of the Western states on the Iran nuclear dispute, Peking (Beijing) alone is preventing new sanctions. [...] China is acting out of solidarity with a fellow authoritarian regime. This last point is often overlooked in the foreign policy debate, because the West sees China as a country whose political evolution has been delayed, but nonetheless, one that will eventually arrive at the port of democracy. In fact, the conflict between liberal democracy and authoritarian government has been going on since the French and American Revolutions. It entered a new phase in the 1990s and no longer has the ideological focus it had during the Cold War, since neither Russia nor China offer the world a real political alternative. However, they and many others see themselves in a defensive struggle against democracy.

"And in that struggle, every state that remains in the authoritarian camp becomes an important ally. [...] When Woodrow Wilson entered World War I against Germany, he hoped to 'make the world safe for democracy.' Today, authoritarian regimes hope to make the world safe for undemocratic states. After a wave of democratization swept the globe during the 1990s, they have organized a tenacious resistance. They learn from one another. And they stand united. In the end, it's irrelevant whether Iran is a theocracy and that North Korea preaches stone-age era communism. Of importance to Beijing is that both are part of an anti-democratic bulwark, with which the wave of democratization can be stopped."

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