Tag Archives: Crimea

Putin’s playbook, Taiwan protests, and China’s ambition

Manthorpe B&W

Jonathan Manthorpe

Beijing claims to own Taiwan and its 23 million people, writes international affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. Amid the student occupation of Taiwan’s parliament, it takes little imagination to construct a chain of events in which the students’ action cascades to a point where China’s leader, Xi Jinping, decides to emulate Russian President Vladmir Putin over Crimea — and press home China’s claim. Meanwhile the Western capitals, that profess to be driven by democratic impulses, have become disturbingly and dangerously inconsistent in their reactions to people power protests. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column: 

At the moment, that is unlikely. But events in the human story have a habit of rushing downhill, gathering momentum as they go.

And a Chinese take-over of Taiwan would make Putin’s annexation of Crimea look like a tea party. Not only would Taiwanese resist, but Beijing’s acquisition of Taiwan would dramatically alter the strategic balance in Asia, to the alarm of Washington and all China’s neighbours, especially Japan.

The response by the United States and its allied democracies to “People Power” uprisings against established governments has become more and more confused and inconsistent since the first modern outbreak of this phenomenon in the Philippines in 1986….

Log in to read the column, Taiwan’s People Power protest is Beijing’s Crimea moment.  ($1 site day pass or subscription required*)

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Agence France-Presse posted a video of the Taiwan student protest:


 

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Chinese imperialism ignored amid Ukraine-Russia debate

The outpouring from the West of shock and outrage over Russia’s actions in Ukraine has been … “entertaining,” writes international affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. The reaction to Russia is especially bizarre given there really is a colonial, expansionist power afoot in the world – and Russia may well be one of its targets.

The sound and fury aimed at Russian President Vladimir Putin in the last few days has been vastly entertaining. But it was evident from the start that, as Ukraine sank into internal chaos, Putin would ensure the security of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the continuation of the 1997 agreement under which Moscow maintains a naval base at Sevastopol in the Crimea. Yet other events on the other side of the world in the last few days should have alerted American Secretary of State John Kerry, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird and all the preened diplomats of the European Union that there is a would-be imperial power at work, a power which already occupies large colonial possessions and is hungry for more. That power is not Russia, but China.

Log in to read the column, Beijing, not Moscow, is the home of imperialism.*

*Jonathan Manthorpe’s columns are available to monthly subscribers or with a $1 day pass to Facts and Opinions. Independent, non-partisan and employee-owned, F&O performs journalism for citizens, funded entirely by readers. We do not carry advertising or solicit donations from non-journalism foundations or causes.

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