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Territorial Greed: Putin And Xi Jinping On Same Path – OpEd

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A few decades back, Soviet Union and China claimed that they were the torch bearers of communist philosophy  in the world. Both of them declared that they were comrades in arms.

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However, with the collapse of communist movement all over the world due to the inherent weakness and deficiencies, the Soviet Union collapsed as a country and was split into several nations.  Today, neither Russia nor any other country belonging to erstwhile Soviet Union claim to follow communist philosophy and methods. They are all now practicing free enterprise economies with reasonable success.

China too has given up the communist methods for all practical purposes and the Chinese economy today is virtually a capitalist economy  with no semblance of communism  in any policy of Government of China.  However, unlike the countries belonging to erstwhile Soviet Union, China continues to claim that it is a communist country, whatever it may mean.

The similarities between Xi Jinping led China and Putin led Russia do not end here. 

The Russian President Putin  and Chinese President Xi Jinping have declared themselves as life Presidents of their countries. Both of them claim that they have been elected by the people and their term as life President has the  approval of the people of their country , which is not true. The fact is that both Putin and Xi Jinping rule their country with iron fist and are virtually merciless dictators, which  is  evident by the fact that any dissenter in their country would be put down and jailed.

The latest similarity  that has now come to the world attention is the territorial greed of Putin and Xi Jinping.

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A few decades back, China aggressively entered Tibet, massacred the protesting Tibetans and occupied Tibet and is ruling it with iron curtain now. China did not care about the world opinion about its aggressive method in Tibet.  USA and West European countries made much noise against China’s occupation of Tibet but did not do beyond that. The prayers of the Tibetan people for world support to save them from China’s occupation have virtually fallen on  dead ears. Even India, which is a victim of China’s aggression, is not supporting cause of Tibet’s independence, obviously not to displease China. This has made China believe that it can occupy any country’s territory by foul means and other countries would only make noise and then “accept the ground reality”.

Putin is now following the same strategy in Ukraine, as China adopted in Tibet. As usual, USA and NATO countries are making lot of noise against Russia’s move to invade Ukraine and are issuing  some empty threats such as imposing sanction against Russia.

Certainly,  Xi Jinping in the case of Tibet and Putin in the case of Ukraine are unlikely to be concerned about the threats from USA and NATO countries as both Xi Jinping and Putin  are convinced that USA and NATO countries are capable of making only noise and will not go beyond imposing  some temporary sanctions that they can manage.  Putin knows that other European countries depend on crude oil and natural gas supply from Russia and they would not like their economy to suffer by Russia stopping the supply of crude oil and natural gas.

With the success of China in Tibet and what is clearly seen as success of Russia in Ukraine, it is amply clear now that China would be emboldened to execute it’s threat of invading Taiwan, probably soon.  Just like Russia occupying Ukraine by virtue of its size and army strength, China too can occupy Taiwan by virtue of its size and army strength very easily. China knows that all other countries would only be fence sitters and USA  and NATO will only react like paper tiger.

China’s next target would be more territories in India and South China Sea.

In today’s condition, in the unlikely event of USA and NATO countries involving themselves in  military war with Russia, certainly China will involve itself in support of Russia in one form or the other.  In the same way, if in the event  of China occupying Taiwan  and in the event of USA and NATO countries launching a war against China, Russia would come to China’s help militarily.

The world has not learnt a lesson, even after seeing the plight of Tibet at the hands of aggressive China.   

Now, China and Russia are the villains of peace in the world and we do not see any Churchill type leader in USA or Europe to confront Putin and Xi Jinping.

Sadly, UN has become an impotent debating forum.

The world should decide that the fight against  greedy Putin led Russia and greedy Xi Jinping led China should start now with the liberation of Tibet as the starting point.  Do USA and NATO forces have the guts and confidence to start such a confrontation against Xi Jinping and Putin  ?

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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