By Jun Sheng
The Ukraine issue is enmeshed in extreme historical complexities and it has evolved to the current state as a result of the interplay of a variety of factors. One key reason why it has kept fermenting and escalating is America’s endless efforts to form small cliques and create regional confrontation and bloc opposition.
After the end of the Cold War, the US-led NATO, instead of mending ties with Russia, expanded its boundary eastward five rounds in breach of their agreements, thus stretching its sphere of influence to Russia’s doorstep, and deployed huge amounts of advanced aggressive strategic weapons there.
At the same time, the US and its western allies, taking advantage of the linguistic and ethnic differences between the eastern and western parts of Ukraine, deliberately fomented confrontation, division and conflict. The two “Color Revolutions” that happened in Ukraine under America’s intervention and manipulation have left the country a shambles of party in-fighting, ethnic hostility, and social splintering, which have finally escalated into the crisis today.
A look back on the historical roots of the Ukraine issue, especially the evolution of the situation since last October, reveals how the US, instead of mediating for peace, has been stoking the flames and instigating warfare along with its allies. Now that war is really on, the trouble maker is trying to shift the blame and profit off the crisis, a deplorable move that has truly opened the world’s eyes to how low a major country is capable of stooping to.
The Ukraine crisis is a typical example of America’s obsession with clique forming and bloc politics that seriously undermines regional security and stability. For a long time, Washington, defying international law and rules, has divided the world with an ideological line and ganged up with its allies to suppress other countries’ development and maintain its own hegemony through long-arm jurisdiction, economic sanction, and other forms of bullying. In the Middle East, it has roped in one group to suppress another and deliberately created regional conflicts to “divide and rule”, while forcing countries in the region to pick sides through the so-called “offshore balancing”. Besides, the US and its allies have repeatedly bypassed the UN Security Council to wage wars, causing immense civilian casualties and losses of properties as well as a raft of social woes in a number of countries.
In recent years, the US has left no stone unturned in advancing its so-called “Indo-Pacific strategy” with allies in the name of developing relations with ASEAN members, but countries are perfectly aware of how this strategy is becoming a synonym for bloc politics. Washington is trumpeting about promoting regional cooperation while playing geopolitical tricks; it is clamoring for a return to multilateralism while forming exclusive clubs; it is claiming to preserve international rules while busily making its own “gang rules”. From reinforcing the Five Eyes to peddling the Quad, from knocking up the trilateral security partnership to tightening bilateral military alliance, the US is no doubt the chief culprit for sabotaging peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region.
The real purpose of the “Indo-Pacific strategy” is to create an Indo-Pacific version of “NATO” to maintain the US-dominated hegemony, but such a system will undermine the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture and damage the overall and long-term interests of regional countries.
While the world is still facing multiple challenges – resurgence of COVID-19 cases, economic recovery, and fragile supply chain, pursuing common development through solidarity and cooperation is the common consensus and expectation of people in all countries. We advise the US side to abandon the Cold War mindset and ideological bias, stop forming gangs and cliques against the trend of the time, and stop splitting the world through bloc opposition under the disguise of multilateralism. It had better make some serious self-reflection, otherwise, a disgraceful failure will be its only destiny.