Originally posted by Liberal1984
I like China's position because it is similar to my own as far as not doing anything unless Iran causes the aggression. Should they it will be very,
very easy to deal with them.........
But there is a question here...
1. Is China pursuing a far less gun ho (and perhaps wiser) policy than America for the sake of its economic interests?
2. Or is it doing it as part of a path towards confrontation with America?
Why does China's pursuit of their own policy have to be one or the other of the above choices?
Every nation on the face of this planet pursues policies that are, for the most part, in their own economic self interests and China (or Russia for
that matter) are certainly not exceptions. From time to time the interests of one nation will come into opposition with those of another country and
sometimes the countries self interests are so opposed to those of another country that war erupts--Thankfully, that doesn't happen very often in
today's modern world.
In the current situation concerning Iran, China is not threatened militarily and none of the countries close to them politically, philosophically, or
geographically are threatened either. Therefore, they don't have to worry about potential treaty obligations or a potentially massive drain on their
resources to support another nation, they only have to worry about themselves.
Economically they do have to worry about the stability of Iran, or rather the stability of their oil supply from Iran. A military conflict within
Iran would seriously threaten their oil supply and they know it. The same can be said for serious economic sanctions against Iran, for if trade
sactions were imposed then China's ability to pay for it's oil supply would be restricted by those sanctions and that could restrict overall
economic growth in China.
China therefore has little to lose by trying to maintain the current status quo in Iran. Even if Iran managed to develop nuclear weapons and then
used them on Israel, China would stand to lose almost nothing. The only way China loses is if Iran can no longer supply them with dependable
quantities of oil. And that only happens if Iran is attacked militarily or if sanctions curtail China's ability to pay for that oil.
Although some in the Chinese government may also get a certain degree of satisfaction in slowing or derailing the policies of the West in general and
the U.S. in particular, I seriously doubt such considerations have anything to do with the pursuit of their current policies relative to Iran.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to alleviate the hardship a particular policy would have on another country, such as the case of securing Pakistan's
support for the so-called war on terror. It is apparent to all the world that Pakistan's help is causing civil unrest, deaths and political
instability inside Pakistan. The U.S. (and probably others as well) are therefore supporting Pakistan in various ways, both overtly & covertly and
are providing some degree of economic help as well. Such is the price of getting Pakistan to go against what they have historically held to be in
their best self interests. In China's case though we couldn't do that--they are simply too big and it would cost too much. We (meaning the West)
therefore have to appeal to their longer range strategic interests and desire to get along with the rest of the world. There are things we could
offer them to secure their cooperation (and we may be doing that), but offering overt guarantees to them is not in play simply because the peoples of
the West would not go along with such offers. I'm sure our governments are trying, but there is only so much we can do and China is not high on our
list of nations we want to help. Essentially we are left appealing to their sense of fair play and altruism--which historically has never counted for
much between nations.
[edit on 9-5-2006 by Astronomer70]