The official “Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development” issued by Russia and China together came out of Putin’s meeting with Xi at the opening of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing last week. The New Axis.
The 5,000 word agreement between the world’s two most powerful authoritarian powers was ominous by its very nature. No matter how merely ceremonial it might have appeared, it marked what is now a dead serious situation.
With Russia on the brink of an all-out military invasion into Western Europe for the first time since World War II, confronting the West, whether or not Ukraine is technically a member of NATO or not, with a direct assault against territories of the West, Russia has set its stage with a critical endorsement from its new ally, the world’s looming tyrannical power, signed and sealed with this joint statement.
One might be tempted to brush off this ceremonial statement, given as it is to all the pronouncements for global peace and development routine for such things, were it not, in the bigger picture, representative of the new global shape of reality.
It is one thing to give lip service to democracy from a couple of global tyrannies, it is another to recognize the seriousness of their claims to represent it.
When these are the forces touting peace and development, appealing to the United Nations framework for progress in a whole number of areas, is makes it hard for the West, if it deigns to even acknowledge the lip service being extended in such a joint statement, to accept that is being proposed without being able to exhibit clearly what is wrong with it.
Who is not for global peace and cooperation in so many of the areas outlined in this joint Russian-Chinese statement? Maybe they’re not so bad, after all. They want development, they want demilitarization and disarmament. What’s so bad?
The Washington Post, in its editorial this week, “The Dictator’s Agreement: Mr. Xi and Mr. Putin Pledge Loyalty to Each Other And to Authoritarian Rule,” condemns the “blueprint for combined confrontation with the United States,” but reading the actual statement, that isn’t exactly what it’s threatening, not in so many words, at least. Maybe Russia and China should have a right to stand together against the U.S. if they feel the U.S. is encroaching too much.
But there’s really only one paragraph amidst all the fancy rhetoric and commitments to peace, democracy and prosperity where the true evil of this devil’s alliance issues forth unmistakably: It comes quite toward the end, where it is asserted that “the sides (China and Russia) support the internationalization of Internet governance, advocate equal right to its governance, believe that any attempts to limit their sovereign right to regulate national segments of the Internet and ensure their security are unacceptable…”
There it is! “Any attempts to limit their sovereign right to regulate national segments of the Internet and ensure their security are unacceptable:” arbitrary state censorship written in stone in this international agreement.
There is no attempt to condition this ”sovereign right” with matters such as “the truth,” for example. There is no claim to a recourse that says such sovereign rights are tempered by anything other that their political will.
This, of course, makes a complete sham of any attempt of this document to represent the will of any people at all. It is the true expose of this collective tyranny, against any fancy words to obfuscate them.
And for democracies in the West, it serves as a reminder that it constitutes the essential matter by which what separates tyranny from democracy must be asserted: the matter of free speech delimited only by a robust discourse on truth, itself.
Truth and freedom are the essential elements of what separates freedom and democracy from tyranny and terror. The new Russia-China pact clearly represents the latter.