This article is the first part of a two part series written by Tushar Kansal. Find the second part here.
By Tushar Kansal
Most world commentators now believe that Mao’s Communist ‘revolution’ was a guise for China to grab countries and become a Neo-Middle Kingdom. China’s PRC (People’s Republic of China) itself, since 1980, says that the only ‘communism’ followed by China is ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’, which essentially means state-controlled capitalism. In the 1950’s, under the banner of communism, China annexed Inner Mongolia, East Turkestan (Xinjiang) and Tibet, just as Soviet Union had gobbled up the lands of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan etc) earlier.
The Ties Between Ukraine and Russia
Ukraine was always a cultural extension of Russia with a similar language – Kiev was the alternative capital of Russia in the past. Ukraine was also the rice bowl of Russia. One reason that Soviet Union set up huge Industries in Ukraine was its core oneness with the latter. Crimea was a part of Russia before it was put under Ukraine jurisdiction, as an internal shuffle in the Soviet Union in 1954.
It is the unsaid rule of world order that without the interference of an outside force, the nation state, as defined in current terms, won’t face an existential issue.
The same was proven with USA/ EU role in the cold war. China’s support to Pakistan & Iran, Saudi Arabia’s support to Sunni and Shia factions in various parts of Middle East, and US role in the current messy state of Iraq, Syria, Libya and so on.
Evolution of The Soviet Union
The Soviet Union was dismembered and the cold war ended. American deal with Russia’s Gorbachev was that Soviet Union would transition to a healthy democracy whereby the freedom of its citizens and EU (European Union) & NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) won’t gang up on Russia’s borders. With the demise of Soviet Union, that deal was broken by the west deep state. The EU & NATO moved on to reach Russia’s borders. What remains of Soviet Union is a Russia which is a superpower in its own right, albeit with a foundation almost entirely built on Defense & Oil industries.
The recent turn of events have seen Ukraine trying to move out of the Russian orbit and into a tight embrace with the EU, by wanting to join EU. Since then, Russia took over Crimea and Russian-backed rebels control roughly 15% of Ukraine with an unstable truce and intermittent fighting raging on.
Why History Matters
Why is Russia reacting badly to Ukraine’s move towards the EU? Much has been written about the ‘iron wall’ syndrome of Putin, who was a member of KGB, the dreaded spy agency in ex-Soviet Union. However, the real answer lies in the history of Russia. It is through the direction of Ukraine that most threats emanated for Russia – bloody wars were fought with the loss of precious lives which threatened its very survival.
Looking at the case of India: it was dismembered sequentially by British. Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Myanmar were artificially separated by British. Nepal offered to merge with India but Nehru, independent India’s first Prime Minister, declined. Bhutan’s case is just like Sikkim. British partitioned India separating Pakistan before leaving. So in stark contrast to China, India saw its lands of modern Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan and Bhutan separated from it. Of these, after the creation of Bangladesh, only Pakistan remains the real thorn in the flesh of the Indians. Intermittent headaches presented by the Chinese through some of these nations continue to be problematic for India.
Pakistan has been supported by China to weaken its southern border front against India – to the extent that China even made Pakistan nuclear and remains its only reliable supporter internationally. China knows it will be suicidal for India to fight on two fronts – Pakistan front and Chinese border. The other perennial supporters of Pakistan viz Saudi Arabia and the US now seem to be drifting away. US has now given a NATO ally status to India and extended its drone campaigns in the whole of Pakistan by first killing Pakistan Taliban chief through a drone attack in Baluchistan. Saudi Arabia is miffed at Pakistan for not joining its international Islamic coalition. However, support in form of oil deliveries still remains.
The only country which is a perennial thorn for democratic republics of USA, India, Japan and ASEAN nations is China.
Solving the China problem means taking it head-on: economically and militarily.
This seems to be work-in-progress with the USA pivot towards Asia and focus on the South China Sea. An international partnership is building with regular military exercises between India, Japan, US, Australia, ASEAN nations and South Korea.
But one nation is missing from the canvas. I leave it to the readers’ curiosity till the puzzle is solved in the second installment of this article.
Tushar Kansal is a reputed columnist and the CFO of IndusB2C.com