Russia and Ukraine have a long history of being together—at least a thousand years. Yet, today, both these peoples are caught up in a fratricidal war: is it to create a new world order, as the French journalist Christine Bierre wrote for the Paris Academy of Geopolitical Research right from early 2016?
“Peace in Ukraine must go through the new Silk Road. This means that there is no other way out of this crisis without a profound change in the world order.”
Adding, “One of the most likely exits is made through Xi Jinping’s Chinese proposal to recreate a modern version of the ancient Silk Road linking China with Europe, through Russia, Central Asia, West Asia, restored continental roads, but with corridors of modern infrastructure for transport, communications, pipelines, water and energy projects.”
Thus, intellectuals like the editor of Nouvelle Solidarité knew in advance that this conflict was about creating a new world order even before the Russo-Ukrainian war took place. And that world order is the new Silk Road that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been promoting for a long time, also known as the “Belt and Road.” Moreover, journalist Christine Bierre firmly asserts that this war can only end when this new world order is established.
According to many geopolitical studies, such as an article published in 2021 by Raoul Bunskoek and Chih-yu Shih, the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) is nothing more than building the so-called “Community of Common Destiny” that the CCP has painstakingly reinforced.
Let’s review some facts and data to see that both Russia and Ukraine have stepped more firmly on the “magnificent” deck of the “Belt and Road” of the Chinese Communist Party in recent years. Then to answer the question of why, despite having the same “destiny,” both Russia and Ukraine are suffering from war with great losses in terms of human life and infrastructure assets.
Ukraine: An increasingly important partner and key destination on the CCP’s “Belt and Road”
Overtaking countries like Poland, Germany, and Russia, China became Ukraine’s largest trading partner starting in 2019. According to the Ukrainian law firm Crane IP data, “analysts estimate today’s two-way trade between $10 billion and $20 billion annually,” VOA reported.
French researcher Nicolas Tenzer, who has nearly 20 years of teaching experience at the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris), reported the government of President Zelensky signed the cooperation agreement with China and thereby participated in the ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative.
In his research, Dr. Łukasz Wojcieszak states, “On the economic level, both countries [China and Ukraine] share a comprehensive interdependence, as is the case with other countries along the New Silk Road route.”
According to Tenzer, along with signing a comprehensive cooperation agreement and participation in the “Belt and Road,” President Zelensky’s administration also participated in the “Community of Common Destiny.” In addition, Zelensky withdrew Ukraine’s condemnation of the Chinese regime’s crimes against the Uighurs in Xinjiang and gave his government recognition of China’s sovereignty over mainland Taiwan.
According to Dr. Łukasz Wojcieszak, the trade relationship between China and Ukraine has increasingly deepened in many fields since 2008. What attracts the CCP in Ukraine is its vital geopolitical position, as the country is the gateway to both Europe and the vast Central Asian region. Before its annexation to Russia, Crimea was an important seaport, primarily thanks to Chinese investments of up to $13 billion, according to 2013 data. After the annexation of Crimea to Russia, huge Chinese investments continued to pour into the Ukrainian seaports of Odesa and Mykolaiv, which Dr. Wojcieszak described as the “access to the Black Sea” and “of great importance for the plans of the Middle Kingdom” [i.e., China].
Among the areas of cooperation between the CCP and Ukraine that Wojcieszak’s research covers, the most notable are the fields of technology, mining, military, and food security.
Especially in the military aspect, after inheriting a high-quality military industry from the Soviet Union, Ukraine made significant contributions to the strength of the Chinese army, the PLA. The Diplomat recently released a brief report: “China has relied on Ukrainian specialists in modernizing the aircraft carrier Varyag, which a Hong Kong businessman purchased from Ukraine. Later, the vessel was renamed Liaoning, becoming China’s first aircraft carrier and a source of pride for the country.
“According to a report released by the New Europe Center in 2020, Ukraine is one of China’s arms suppliers, even against the backdrop of increasingly tense China–U.S. relations. The report details that the supplies include turbofan engines, diesel engines, and gas turbines.
“Moreover, with the help of Ukrainian engineers, Beijing managed to conduct reverse engineering on the Russian Su-27 fighter and turned it into its own J-11 fighter. In fact, following the “dual introduction policy”—a bid to introduce both technology and talents from the CIS countries after the collapse of the USSR—in 2006 alone China was able to invite Ukrainian scientists to visit China more than 2,000 times, because Ukraine was the focus of this project. Having Ukraine as an alternative military partner alleviates China’s dependence on Russia—which, it must be emphasized, is not a formal ally to China.”
In the field of food security, as one of the world’s breadbaskets, Ukraine makes equally important contributions to the CCP in this respect. Tenzer reported, “In 2012, China’s Exim Bank extended a $1.5 billion loan to Ukraine’s state-run grain and food corporation (GPZKU). The Ukrainian entity agreed to contract its grain exports to a Chinese company.
“A year later, China’s Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps was reported to have leased “five percent of Ukraine” (an area roughly the size of Belgium) to grow crops and raise livestock in Dnipropetrovsk. Ukraine received Chinese agricultural equipment, fertilizers, and seeds in exchange for having its exports go to China.”
Strangely and coincidentally, the Dnipropetrovsk region remains entirely outside the war zone between Russia and Ukraine.
Another seemingly random and equally odd coincidence is that in the case of Crimea, where the Chinese Communist Party had invested many tens of billions of dollars after it was annexed to Russia, China did neither complain nor object to this coercive action of Russia. In contrast, according to Dr. Łukasz Wojcieszak, both Chinese authorities and society sympathized with Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014.
Russia’s strategic choices bring it into the CCP’s “Community of Common Destiny”
Right before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and before Russia sent a large number of its troops into Ukraine territory, Chinese leader Xi Jinping had a meeting and signed crucial agreements to promote the relationship between the two countries. “In the eyes of President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Russia’s relationship with China has never been closer,” said the BBC.
According to François Godement of the French think tank Institut Montaigne, the Russia-China bilateral relationship has a long development history. It has continuously achieved a “strong convergence of Chinese and Russian policies: both have maintained (China) or acquired (Russia) a balanced budget. Moreover, while Russia acquired $640 billion of foreign exchange reserves thanks to energy supply contracts, Xi’s China has moderated its appetite for domestic debt.”
Additionally, “The creation of alternative international payment systems to SWIFT (even if the Chinese system depends on it considerably), and increased control over Russian oligarchs and major Chinese entrepreneurs, and the one-way use of offshore places and their opacity … all this is common to both regimes.”
Moreover, Russia plays a vital role in another great CCP “belt and road” project in the Arctic. According to researcher Ali Haider Saleem of the Institute for Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), “the BRI includes two major projects to serve this purpose, namely the Gwadar port in Southwest Pakistan and the Polar Silk Road through the Arctic Region.”
“Initially, Russia had objections over China’s entry into the forum as it sought to exert its dominance in the region. Moscow had always been reluctant over the inclusion of non-arctic states in the council and having a major power like China on the table seemed a potential threat to its interests but the deteriorating economic relations between Russia and the West would turn things around for Russia-China cooperation in the arctic as Chinese technology and investment became more critical for Russia.”
Saleem added, “Indeed, the crisis between Russia and Ukraine from 2014 to the present is the factor that makes the CCP increasingly an indispensable partner of Russia, as their relationship with The West is getting worse and worse.”
Just before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, the strategic partnership between Russia and China had become “without limits,” according to the joint statement between the two sides on Feb. 4 of this year. The flux of events and strategic decisions of President Putin’s government increasingly make Russia enter the orbit of the “Community of Common Destiny” that the CCP had initiated and established in 2007 when the phrase first appeared at the 17th Congress of the CCP.
‘Common destiny’ but watching with arms crossed, as brothers and sisters fratricide?
According to the above information, it can be seen that both Russia and Ukraine are strategic partners of the Chinese Communist Party. Particularly, Ukraine is an essential link in the “Belt and Road Initiative” that China has worked so hard to build. Or, to put it according to Leonid Kyianytsia’s geopolitical research paper “The Belt and Road Initiative as a New Silk Road: The (Potential) Place of Ukraine.”
In that context, noteworthily, it seems paradoxical that the tension between Russia and Ukraine that has lasted from 2014 until now has not reduced the massive investment flow of China to Ukraine. The CCP’s $13 billion poured into Crimea as of 2013, when this peninsula was still part of Ukraine, as noted above, did not appear to have been lost when Russia annexed Crimea.
The tension between Russia and Ukraine for more than eight years is enough for a person familiar with the situation and terrain of Ukraine, Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong to advise “not to invest in Ukraine” 6 years ago. But China seems to have a different way of thinking. China continues to invest money in Odesa and Mykolaiv, according to Dr. Łukasz Wojcieszak, which are port cities close to the hot spots of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict since 2014 until now such as Donbas or Crimea.
Unless Russian bombs have an eye to avoiding the infrastructure projects invested in by the CCP, it is difficult to explain why Chinese investors remain indifferent. They do not take any action in the reconciliation of Russia and Ukraine to prevent the investments worth tens of billions of dollars a year in this Eastern European land from turning to ashes.
There are still many commentators like Stephen Roach who, through an article in mid-March, hoped that the CCP would play the role of a peace mediator for the Ukraine-Russia war as a world leader. He gave three reasons for this belief:
- China will use its G20 membership to help the West connect and negotiate with Russia.
- It can open the Chinese border to welcome Ukrainians to flee from bombs, especially children.
- Through “Belt and Road” to help Ukraine rebuild after the war.
Thus, it is clear that as a strategic partner of both Ukraine and Russia, the CCP can fully use its influence to bring the two sides to the negotiating table. But, contrary to Mr. Roach’s wish, up till now, the CCP has shown no signs of actively acting as a pro-peace agent or providing humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people. On the contrary, according to prominent Western news agencies such as CNN, the CCP also shows signs of being ready to support Russia with military equipment. Moreover, it’s not only opposed to Russia’s removal from membership of the G20. According to The Guardian, the CCP has also provided economic aid to Russia, thereby helping Putin’s government minimize the damage from economic sanctions from the West.
Suppose the Chinese Communist Party does not have mercy on the sacrifice of tens of thousands of lives, the pitiful sight of millions of Ukrainians who have had to flee their homes and evacuate everywhere. Should they at least feel regret for the tens of billions of dollars a year that they have invested in infrastructure in Ukraine in danger of being destroyed? On the contrary, in the last meeting with the Russian counterpart, China’s foreign minister made statements that, if not to encourage Russia to continue its military efforts, showed that they were completely standing outside and watching. It was even declared that “Russia and China are leading a new ‘world order,'” according to the title of a Forbes news article.
So how to explain this seemingly absurd situation? It should not come as a big surprise for those who have learned a little about the history of the Chinese Communist Party’s rise to power. Indeed, from the 1950s to the present, the formation and development of the CCP’s influence, both internally and externally, has been associated with inciting hatred, causing chaos to “catch fish with two hands,” thereby profiting or expanding. In short, it is to create chaos of hate from within the chaos of hatred to continuously establish a new power order in which the CCP is the sole solipsist.
Domestically, the history of the CCP’s rise to power is a history of successive classic tricks of instigating hatred between one group of people and another. When China was still under the yoke of the Japanese Empire, instead of fighting Japan, they criticized that the Kuomintang government sold the country and did not fight Japan; right at the time, the country was in danger, inciting the people to oppose the Kuomintang. After coming to power, the CCP urged the farmers to fight the rich peasants and landowners and then took their property, robbed, and killed them. In the Industry and Trade Reform, the CCP used the working class to overthrow the bourgeois and steal their property with the same tactics. In the Anti-Rightist campaign, the CCP incited hatred to eradicate all intellectuals with opposing views, enslaving the intelligentsia.
To do these things, they regard the peasantry and the working class as tools that, after being fully exploited, treat them inhumanely: tens of millions of people starved to death during the Great Leap Forward launched by the CCP. Those who survived continued to suffer the tragedy of humanity during the Cultural Revolution. The CCP killed millions of people, shattered the moral foundations of countless families, and turned myriad youngsters into hooligans.
Externally, the Russo-Ukrainian war is not the first time the CCP has engaged in mutually beneficial relationships or “two-handed fishing” with both sides in a conflict and then profiting despite the tragic circumstances of the parties.
For example, during the riots in Cambodia around 1975, the CCP, on the one hand, trained and established the Khmer Rouge regime and, on the other hand, extended its arms to support the deposed and exiled Prince Sihanouk. According to BBC, Mrs. Andrew Mertha, author of “Brothers in Arms: China’s Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979,” said 90% of the Khmer Rouge’s foreign aid came from China. These items include tanks, aircraft, and artillery. While the Khmer Rouge government was killing its people, Chinese engineers and military advisers continued to train them. And Mr. Mertha from Cornell University believes that without the support of China, the Khmer Rouge regime could not survive more than a week.
Today, Cambodia has always never sided with its ASEAN neighbors in their efforts to issue a joint statement rejecting the CCP’s illegal cow-dash line. Moreover, Cambodia’s Hun Sen administration did more than the Zelensky administration on the Uighur issue: the Uighurs that fled their homeland to Cambodia were returned to the CCP.
For another classic CCP two-handed fish catch, try looking back at the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Coincidentally, American troops withdrew from South Vietnam in 1972 when Nixon and Kissinger made contact and warmly shook hands with Mao Zedong’s regime.
The CCP not only stood by and added fuel to the fire of this war but also reaped huge profits. Indeed, it took advantage of the situation when the Republic of Vietnam was weak to send troops to capture the Paracels. The fact that Mao shook hands with Nixon could also be the key event that made China dream of global hegemony as it is today. As Nixon himself lamented in his recollections, he feared he had “created a Frankenstein” by shaking hands with Mao Zedong.
The examples above and the CCP’s attempt to contact Duong Van Minh at the end of April 1975 to prolong the fratricidal war in Vietnam are typical examples of two things: First, the CCP does not want to end a war that it does not participate in, but rather, on the contrary, wants it to continue forever, letting itself be the only one to manipulate, and leisurely sit back and enjoy the greatest benefits. And second, during the war, out of chaos and trampling on the sufferings and blood of others, the CCP continuously established a new power order.
Because of the perception that Mao’s handshake with Nixon was one of the most significant turning points on the world political map, author Margaret MacMillan titled her book “Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World.”
Since then, strangely enough, the Soviet Union has been steadily weakening and disintegrating. Although, of course, for decades, local wars, bomb explosions, and scenes of terror have been continuously happening worldwide. Still, it’s as if they have eyes and feet, knowing how to stay away from the territory ruled by the CCP unless initiated by itself.
Perhaps, this is enough to explain why the CCP has made no move to urge its partners, who over the years have fallen deeper and deeper into the “Community of Common Destiny” orbit that the CCP embroidered and are now are fraternally fractious, to sit at the negotiating table for peace. As a result, one can hardly help but wonder, what is the “destiny” that the CCP uses to promote its brand name?.
What is that ‘destiny’?
Tens of millions of people in the land of the old Russian Empire are now suffering from the destruction of their homes, exiled abroad, or living under fire; tens of thousands of people, both civilians and soldiers have lost their lives. Is this the tragic fate that any country with a deep, beneficial relationship with the CCP faces?.
Let us look back at the case of Italy—the first European country and the country that suffered the most damage on the old continent from the COVID-19 epidemic.
In March 2019, a series of major European newspapers featured the headlines: “Will Italy be China’s Trojan horse?” and ironically, playing on the words “Italy lies under the heel of China’s boots.” They were startled to realize that four key Italian ports, Ravenna, Palermo, Triste, and Genoa, fell into the CCP’s “Belt and Road” orbit.
Then, less than a year later, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Europe, with the main starting point being Italy, in February 2020. Less than two months later, in April 2020, 160,000 Italians died in the pandemic, by far the heaviest damage in Europe at that time, causing people to interview political experts like Professor Marc Lazar “why is it so bad?” for an epidemiological problem.
Why is “common destiny” with the Chinese Communist Party parallel to suffering disasters such as pandemics (in the case of Italy) or war (as examples of Russia and Ukraine)? Is this also an inexplicable coincidence?
If this question is asked of the Hong Kong protesters who celebrate Oct. 1, 2019, where next to the slogan “No National Day, Only National Day of Mourning” is the slogan “Heaven Destroys Chinese Communist Party,” they possibly will ask three questions:
1. Has there ever been a dynasty in human history, no matter how strong, that lasted forever?
2. With so many crimes against humanity and genocide from its founding to this day, will Heaven not destroy the CCP?
3. If you step onto the deck of a sinking ship and commit to its fate, what is your future?
What is the solution for Russia and Ukraine and indeed the world?
It would be wise to ask the nearly 400 million Chinese people who still believe in Gods and Buddhas and the “retribution of good and evil.” Although still living under the CCP’s rule, people are rational and courageous enough to leave all CCP organizations, according to the statistics of the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party.
Maybe they will all give us the same answer: stay away from the CCP not to share its fate of “Heaven destroys the Chinese Communist Party.”
It is not just a solution for Russia and Ukraine alone, but anyone. So let’s “regain the purity we once had, and return to our true home,” differentiate good from evil, and determine the origin of all disasters on this Earth.