Published: 13:11, March 18, 2022 | Updated: 13:11, March 18, 2022
Talks only way to end Ukraine crisis
By Mervyn Cheung Man-ping

On the pretext of defending freedom and democracy in Ukraine, the US-led West and some other countries have again been drawn into a spiraling confrontation with Russia. The root of the Ukraine crisis lies in the fallible assumption that American values are universally accepted and the West's double standard-laced policy must prevail over the world.

By believing in this fallacy, Ukraine has fallen into the US' trap resulting in disastrous consequences.

Russia has never concealed its concerns over its national security and territorial integrity, which it believes can be defended only if Ukraine remains neutral and demilitarized. And yet NATO rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin's call for not making Ukraine a NATO member or militarizing it.

Resorting to its usual tactic, the US ramped up its anti-Russia propaganda, claiming Putin was about to order an attack on Ukraine-only to keep changing the date for the attack. Ultimately, Putin ordered the "special military operation" in Ukraine on Feb 24.

Condemned by Putin for using Ukraine as a "tool" to contain Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom, after "crying wolf" for months, are now sending weapons and military advisers to Ukraine to keep the conflict alive. Instead of making serious, concerted efforts to end the conflict, the US and its allies have been imposing one "harsh" sanction after another on Russia in a bid to "debilitate "its economy and engineer a "color revolution" in the country.

Records show that since the end of World War II, the US has bombed about 30 countries, some of them twice. These countries include Korea and China (1950-53), Cuba (1959-61), Vietnam (1961-73), Iran (1987), Iraq (1991-2015), Bosnia Herzegovina (1994-95), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-21) and Pakistan (2007-15).

So, if a country should pay the price for its "special military operation", why shouldn't the US be similarly penalized for its military actions in those countries?

Devised to bring down the Putin government, and target China and other countries that refused to jump on to the US' bandwagon, the Ukraine crisis should make the world to see through Washington's design, as Harley Schlanger of The LaRouche Organization has said. According to Schlanger, the Ukraine crisis is a replica of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, as NATO's eastward expansion will help the US to fulfill its goal of dominating the world by cutting off Europe from Russia, keep the Germans at bay, and put it firmly in charge of the expansive Eurasian region.

It is therefore no surprise that keeping the flames of the Russia-Ukraine conflict burning for as long as possible is in the interest of the US, because apart from pushing forward the White House's geopolitical agenda, it will also help Biden cover his socioeconomic failures at home. Since the European Union's economy is about 10 times that of Russia, the US believes it can withstand the shocks of a protracted proxy war, which on the other hand could be economically devastating for Russia, especially because it is already reeling from the Western sanctions and facing growing opposition at home owing to the Ukraine conflict.

Given that UN reports say the conflict has already claimed more than 1,200 civilian lives and left many more wounded, and considering the fastest growing humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II, the US could easily stop the war by advising NATO to stop supplying weapons and equipment to Ukraine or abide by the 2015 Minsk peace agreement that Germany and France brokered among Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Unfortunately, however, the Biden administration has been claiming sanctions are the most effective weapon to contain Russia, while ignoring the damage rising inflation will cause to the world economy.

The US and its allies have also been trying to enlist the support of China against Russia, but China has maintained its neutral stance on the conflict, and abstained from voting in the UN meetings condemning Russia for "invading" Ukraine.

In fact, in his virtual meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on March 8, President Xi Jinping reiterated that it is critically important for Europe to stay calm and restrained if it wants to end the conflict.

Supported by Germany and France and worried that the sanctions against Russia, including the ban on transactions with Russia, could deal another big blow to the global economy which is yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, China has offered to promote peace talks between the two fighting sides, as well as supply humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people.

In contrast to the provocative line taken by the White House, China seems to be the only major country, along with the UN, trying to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine. Indeed, China supports any effort that is conducive to easing tensions and ending the crisis.

The author is a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.