Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Time For China And India To Shed "Neutrality"

China did not know beforehand that Russia was going to invade Ukraine. India did not.

And while the two militaries clash on Ukrainian territory with the overwhelming damage to Ukrainian lives and property, it is at one level. It is localized war.

Putin can not complain about economic sanctions. For one, they have not been a surprise. And he, on his part, has issued retaliatory economic sanctions.

Nobody owes the Putin regime a world power status. He is not even fighting for second place. Or third, or fourth, or fifth. China is the second largest economy. India is the third largest. And if Russia were not an authoritarian kleptocracy, it migth be a vibrant knowledge economy. Putin is the problem.

These nuclear threats by Putin can not be thought of as empty words. Autocrats are known to commit suicide. The Putin inner circles often get described as a prison yard. You watch your back, I will watch mine.

Putin is not threatening Finland, or Britain. We all know a nuclear threat by either Russia or the US is a threat to the entire planet.

China and India must step in.

By that I do not mean China and India should now do what Britain has been doing, what many NATO countries have been doing. I am not asking that you take sides. But I am asking that you stop staying on the sidelines. Get actively involved in the conversation. Weigh in on both sides.

China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia all need to step into the void and help resolve the situation. This game of brinkmanship has gone too far already.

The Chinese and the Indian leadership need to demand that the heads of states of Russia, the United States, Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Britain, France and Germany meet them for a summit in a neutral territory like Brazil or South Africa, or even Indonesia and hold in person negotiations to walk back from the brink.

Putin's nuclear threats to Finland and Britain are not localized threats. They are immediate nuclear radiation threats to Russia and Europe, and an existential threat to the entire planet. That threatening posture can not be allowed to stand.

China and India should work to impose a no first use policy on all nuclear powers. Nothing less makes any sense.

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