International situation in the era of pandemic« Back
On July 28, 2020, the Institute of CIS countries hosted a webinar (videoconference) "International situation in the era of pandemic". It was attended by experts in the field of geopolitics, religion, political science, economics, psychology and philosophy from Russia, Germany, France, the United States, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Syria, Iran and Moldova. Among them should be noted: speaker of the Inter-Parliamentary Commission on human rights, Bundestag Deputy Waldemar Gerdt, President of the Russian Red Cross society count Sergei Kapnist, political scientist Baron Alexander Zanzer, former Syrian Ambassador to China Mohammad al-Wadi, Professor of the American higher school in Paris Anton Kozlov, Director of the Iranian political magazine Mortaza Ashrafi, former head of the government of Moldova Vasily Tarlev, Director of La Classe Anastasia Shevchenko, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries Alexandra Dokuchaeva, head of the SCO Department at the CIS Institute Vladimir Evseev and senior research fellow at the research center of the Russian Federation and Central Asia at the Beijing oil University Vyacheslav Valerianov,.
The webinar was opened by Alexandra Dokuchaeva, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries. She believes that it is extremely important to discuss the international situation in the current unprecedented situation of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to collect the tragic victims of this terrible disease. The participation of leading experts in today's webinar allows us to hope that the results of the discussion will make assessments that are interesting for everyone who follows the international situation. And also for those who make actual decisions.
It should be noted that the fight against the pandemic requires international solidarity, especially among the leading actors on the world stage. However, the United States began a trade and then a diplomatic war with China. At the same time, following the best practices of political strategists, they are trying to solve their internal political problems by searching for an external enemy, which is their main geopolitical rival. And, unfortunately, the tension between Washington and Beijing is affecting the entire world. In this regard, it is extremely important to constantly analyze this situation and try, if possible, to influence it so that the current problem does not become a worldwide conflict.
Then Waldemar Gerdt, speaker of the inter-parliamentary Commission on human rights, member of the Bundestag of Germany, spoke. He pointed out the importance of solidarity during the pandemic, as it was the first time that humanity had faced such a serious problem. And this is not a problem of one country, so one needs to abandon the stereotypes of past thinking. If the previous methods of political and economic influence on our competitors continue, we will very quickly find ourselves on a dead-end stage of human development.
An opposition politician from the Alternative for Germany party often disagrees with the official position of the German government. He believes that the situation in Hong Kong is an internal matter of China. The West should not interfere there in any way, because this will only make the situation worse. After all, Hong Kong was a colony of Great Britain, was there more democracy there? Back then, local residents could not choose their own Governor. And that suited everyone. Now, when the processes in Hong Kong are more democratic than during the colonial regime, someone is very much not satisfied with this. And they are working out the scenario that led to the Arab spring, for example, in Syria. Today, the same scenario is being worked out by multi-globalists on the territory of the United States itself.
Gerdt believes that the democratic right of everyone is to express one’s own opinion in the form of peaceful demonstration. But as soon as a demonstrator crosses the line of peaceful protest, then one needs to talk about human rights, not just those who throw these stones. About those who created this business, which is now collapsing. One should speak about police officers who suffer while protecting the state's interests. In this situation, elements of state pressure are justified and we need to stop playing the game of tolerance. On the night of June 21, the youth defeated the center of Stuttgart; on the night of July 19 this was repeated in the center of Frankfurt. In Germany, the same scenario is being implemented as in the United States. German society is trying to create internal problems by implementing an American political project in Germany.
Of course, there are also problems between China and Germany. In particular, this concerns the activities of the Chinese company Huawei, which the Germans did not allow to become a monopoly in order to ensure national security. Beijing must accept the need to take into account the interests of Berlin and the rights of the Germans.
In addition, it is necessary to balance the relations between Germany and China in the field of business. So, in China, it is not so easy for a European to open a business due to existing restrictions. But in Germany, over the past few years, the Chinese have totally bought up businesses and organizations, which have negatively affected the country's economy. Germany has enough dependence on the USA, and it would not like to fall under the Chinese one.
The world's security system is currently collapsing. The US is withdrawing from one international arms control treaty after another. Therefore, it is necessary to build new global security architecture as soon as possible. The Russian Federation and China should play a serious role in it. But this requires initiatives from China as well. This is being debated on the Bundestag platform.
Unfortunately, the sovereignty of the German government and the state as a whole is at a fairly low level. Almost no one listens to the opinion of Berlin, because it always duplicates the position of Washington, often to without taking into account its own interests, including on the introduction of financial and economic sanctions. And if this paradigm of thinking in the German government does not change, there will be serious consequences. Now the Trump administration insists on connecting China to the Prague (2010) strategic offensive arms Treaty (START). So far, Beijing has remained silent on this issue. I hope that in the future, representatives of the United States, Russia and China will sit down at the negotiating table and on the basis of an old or completely new Treaty will come to the formation of new security architecture. And the Alternative for Germany Party will do everything possible to promote this.
Now US President Trump is moving away from the doctrine of the world policeman, betting on America First. Thus this is normal, because for other countries, such as Russia or China, national interests have major priority. But this has not yet been learned in Germany. This is evidenced by the agreement of Berlin to allocate 700 billion euros to countries that have suffered from the coronavirus pandemic.
Gerdt confirmed that now the new European parties are actively engaged in party building process, which is pushed by the changing demographic situation and the activities of Turkish President Recep Erdogan. Mosques carry out serious propaganda work. All this can lead to the creation of Islamic parties and will have an impact on the activities of national governments.
Vladimir Evseev, head of the Department of Eurasian integration and development of the SCO Institute of CIS countries, moderated the webinar. In his opening speech, he focused on the military and political situation in Eurasia, which is gradually changing. The US is weakening militarily, but not as quickly as one might prefer. At the same time, the US-Chinese rivalry is growing, primarily in the field of Naval forces (Navy). China is powerfully increasing its surface fleet, and this is evidenced by the introduction of the modern aircraft carrier Shandong into the fleet in December 2019. This is the second aircraft carrier (the first-Chinese production). The third aircraft carrier will enter in service approximately in 2022. By 2030, the Chinese Navy will have four aircraft carriers strike groups (ASG). This will be a potential comparable to the United States, which, with 10 aircraft carriers, can actually use only 5 ASG, because they do not have enough surface escort ships. Most US warships have a very limited service lifespan (up to 1.5 years), which allows them to be used only the conditions of combat action. In addition, Beijing is increasing its capacity in the field of air force.
China is not going to negotiate with Russia and the United States on START, because it is modernizing its strategic nuclear forces (SNF). If earlier in China, the main stake was placed on medium-range missiles, now one is talking about an intercontinental firing range. In such circumstances, China will not accept any restrictions on nuclear weapons. Moreover, the Chinese say: "You will have to reduce it to our level, and then we will negotiate with you.
Significant changes are taking place in the field of air defense system. Japan's refusal to deploy the Aegis Ashore system (a ground-based version of the MK-41 missile control system) suggests that even Tokyo doubts the effectiveness of the US missile defense system, which cannot protect the US even from a group, let alone a massive nuclear strike.
However, the US is trying to exaggerate its military capabilities. In particular, the American leadership declares the creation of hypersonic weapons. But in fact, they create only an analog of the Russian air-based hypersonic missile system Kinzhal. The maximum speed of such a device is unlikely to reach the stated 17 M (Mach numbers). At the same time, the Americans are not even trying to create an analog of the Russian strategic missile system Avangard, whose hypersonic vehicle reaches a speed of up to 27 M. After all, it is impossible to create hypersonic vehicles of Intercontinental range in a short time. The US is significantly behind Russia and China in the field of hypersonic weapons. But the ruling elite are trying to convince their own voters that they are still strong and can dictate their will to other countries.
In the field of nuclear weapons, the Trump administration claims only a guided warhead. But Russia and China already have such opportunities. Moreover, even North Korea has hypersonic weapons. Their corresponding vehicle reached 7 M when firing from a ground-based launcher.
In reality, the US military potential is not as great as it is trying to present. Yes, it is true that they have a large number of military bases, but this drains their military budget. With a huge government deficit, the United States can't last long. What if China starts selling US financial obligations worth of several trillion dollars?
Consequently, the balance of military forces in Eurasia is gradually changing, and the US is losing its dominance there. Therefore, the main foreign policy actors need to agree. Instead, the US is withdrawing from all international arms control treaties and threatening to withdraw weapons into space. Russia responds asymmetrically with hypersonic aircraft and ocean-based Poseidon multi-purpose systems. This allows it to reach a similar level of containment with minimal cost. The Russian Federation has a lot in stock, for example, Barguzin combat railway missile system in a high degree of completion. But it is not going to threaten anyone but tries to negotiate.
Evseev believes that if the Americans think more about their own interests and their allies in Europe and North-East Asia, we will be able to reach some new agreements in the field of arms limitation. Of course, if the US refuses to deploy new missile complexes in Europe. But it can be implemented in Japan and the Republic of Korea, which will cause opposition not only from China, but also from Russia. In North-East Asia, too, not everyone agrees with this, since the changing world requires some new consensus in the field of international security.
Evseev agreed with his German counterpart that we need to reach an agreement and find a compromise. Otherwise, the world will not be safer. And new military threats will arise not only for the Europeans, Russians, and Chinese, but also for the Americans themselves. The ruling elite of the United States hides this in every possible way from its own people, unleashing a new arms race and increasing the risk of nuclear war. Control over the world's media allows Americans to impose their point of view. However, at the expert level, everyone understands that the world can only be safer for everyone, and not for one country, even such as the United States.
Vasily Tarlev, head of the Moldovan Union of Industrialists and entrepreneurs and Chairman of the government of the Republic of Moldova in 2001-2008, made a brief presentation. He noted that in the current difficult epidemiological situation, people do not want to isolate themselves. They are concerned that economic life has been completely suspended in many countries and must be restored. To do this, many countries will apply for international loans from the IMF or other financial organizations. And this will create new problems. He also expressed readiness to cooperate as the Chairman of the International Congress of Industrialists and entrepreneurs, which includes more than 30 countries as equal members. Another 18 countries have the status of candidates for membership in the Congress.
The conference participants discussed the current situation in the world in the era of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, special attention was paid to the deepening contradictions between the US and China under President Donald Trump, the desire of his administration to shift responsibility for the pandemic to the PRC, as well as attempts by the Americans to increase tensions in Hong Kong.
Different views on the issue of Hong Kong emerged among experts. For example, Kirill Frolov, head of the Department for relations with the ROC of the CIS Institute, made a report on "US Sanctions against China on religious issues and Hong Kong as a reason to strengthen cooperation between Russia and China". He devoted his report to the humanitarian aspects of anti-Chinese and anti-Russian sanctions, paying special attention to the constantly raised issue of religious freedom in China in the United States.
It is to combat the "oppression of religious freedoms" in February 2020 US Secretary of state Michael Pompeo created the Alliance of religious freedoms. In fact, as the first six months of its existence showed, the Alliance is engaged in organizing persecutions of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), seizing churches in Ukraine with the help of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Alliance of religious freedoms is lobbying the so-called Orthodox Church of Ukraine created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has no canonical status and apostolic succession. Recently, it was with the Exarch of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, according to our canonical Orthodox terminology, a dissenter, Metropolitan Elpidifor, that D. Trump met. Although the head of the American orthodox church is considered Metropolitan Tikhon Mollar. Meeting with Trump's campaign was held as part of his presidential election campaign. All this speaks to the double standards of the United States in matters of defending religious freedoms.
Religious freedom in China is a very subtle and delicate issue. It should be discussed by unbiased experts and with the participation of the Chinese side. And not by the aforementioned Patriarchate of Constantinople, which does not hide its active support for separatism in Hong Kong. Much more loyal to the Chinese state is the Synod of The Chinese Autonomous Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, whose experience of national reconciliation is very useful to both China and Russia. It retains its Autonomous status from the ROC of the Moscow Patriarchate.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s, China sheltered Russian emigration. At that time, there were more than 80 Orthodox churches in the country. The spiritual leader of the Russian emigration to China, Metropolitan Viktor Svyatin, returned to the Soviet Union in 1946 and took an active part in our national reconciliation, recognizing the victory of Stalin and the Soviet people in the great Patriotic war. This experience is important and relevant for China, as Metropolitan Viktor Svyatin reconciled the atheistic Soviet leadership and the Russian Orthodox Church. And since the religious factor in the world is a reality, China, which is close to us, will have to take this factor into account.
On July 27, Mikhail Khazin presented the ideas of Orthodox socialism for China in the newspaper "Tomorrow". As he noted, Chinese President XI Jinping is actively interested in these issues, offering the ROC a dialogue. However, Khazin is wrong when he claims that the Russian Church and the Chinese Patriarchal compound are not interested in this. In fact, this is not true, but the question of personnel remains open. The Chinese leadership is striving to create a national Church, and the Chinese Patriarchal compound is preparing cadres for its emergence.
Frolov is convinced that the ROC will go to the creation of Chinese autocephaly, because the situation in Ukraine and China is completely opposite. Autocephaly in Ukraine is an obvious evil that leads to division. China is a separate civilization, so it is worthy of a separate local Autocephalous Church, which will be fillial in relation to the ROC. This requires a dialogue with Chinese experts. As well as discussions with the Europeans to overcome double standards regarding religious freedoms and stop the persecution of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In studying the history of wars, it should be noted that both Russia and China are directly subject to the US law of 1959 "On enslaved Nations", according to which the Russians enslaved the peoples of the Volga, Ural, Kuban and don. Similarly, they consider the issue of Chinese enslavement of the peoples of Tibet. As part of this policy, the so-called US sociological centers constantly state that 70% of Hong Kong residents surveyed do not consider themselves Chinese. Russian Russians are being divided, and the Ukrainians and Belarusians are being singled out as anti-Russian Nations. Washington is trying to repeat the same story in China, presenting them as victims of Russian colonial policy.
In some ways, the experience is repeated. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, imperialist Japan created the Chinese puppet Manchu state and actively formed the Manchu nation, that is, the Manchu Ukraine. Russian Russian-Chinese people's unity is therefore the experience of our joint dialogue.
The same dialogue is necessary with German patriots who may live in different States. After all, no one is saying that Austrians are not Germans, even in terms of language. And this has nothing to do with Nazism, just historical and demographic facts. Therefore, the dialogue of independent experts who oppose double standards, military, humanitarian and sanctions aggression should cover all key topics, both military-political, economic, and humanitarian-religious.
It was supported by Vyacheslav Valerianov, who presented a report: "The Law on national security of Hong Kong in the context of the international legal situation in the context of the next anti-Chinese sanctions by the United States". In his opinion, the offensive policy of the United States should not be taken as a given, it should be resisted.
Hong Kong's self-education, during the period of the opium wars, the expansion of Great Britain and its interference in the internal affairs of China, was violent. And in 1945, when the decision was made to reunite Hong Kong with China, the UK prevented this by using the difficult international situation.
As the economic and political growth of the People’s Republic of China, the United States began to lose its primacy in the production of goods and services in the real economy. It is time for a new era of Western interference in China's internal Affairs through the use of double-standard tactics and the export of "color revolutions" according to the well-known method of "non-violent coups" by Gene Sharp. At the same time, in the struggle for real goals, part of the population of Hong Kong adopted the experience of forceful street actions of the Ukrainian Euromaidan and quickly moved to the demands for political independence. Of course, no government will allow separatist sentiments to develop; otherwise it will lead to the collapse of the country.
The experience of power street actions in Hong Kong was most likely taught by foreign instructors. So, according to video information about the riots in Hong Kong, Russian experts noted that peaceful students, representatives of the Demosisto party of Pro-Western youth leader Joshua Wong, and activists of the "national front of Hong Kong" party use techniques to protect and attack Polish football fans against the police. And, as it is known, in some countries, extremist youth and football fans are trained by former employees of the special services. Moreover, Ukrainian graduates of the Polish private Academy of special training could be seen there in the ranks of demonstrators along with Azov veterans of the volunteer regiment.
In addition, it is known from publications on the Internet that the departure of militants to Hong Kong led by the leaders of the party "national corps" Sergei Filimonov and Igor Malyar was directly supervised by the leadership of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Ukraine, and funded by US funds through the Ukrainian center "Free Hong Kong". Information support for street actions was provided by Western media and the corresponding resources of the opposition media magnate Jimmy Lai. In addition, as a role model, a film about the Kiev Maidan was shown several times in Hong Kong.
The absence of a law aimed at suppressing subversive anti-state activities was actively used by foreign elements to promote separatism and anti-Chinese sentiments. Because of the legal vacuum, the local police, very well organized and equipped, allowed young people who did not want to be identified with China to openly organize pogroms and vandalism.
Based on the logic of current events, the law "On national security of Hong Kong" adopted by the Chinese Parliament can generally be considered as a reaction of Beijing to the anti-government demonstrations that have been going on for almost a year, which quickly lost their peaceful character. However, according to article 23 of the basic law, Hong Kong should have adopted this act itself, but unlike Macao, which adopted the law "on the protection of national security" in 2009, it has not done so for 23 years. As a result, the Chinese authorities took the initiative in their own hands.
The voluminous text of the law in question, consisting of 6 chapters and 66 paragraphs, was published late on June 30. Now separatist activities, attempts to undermine state authority, terrorist activities, as well as colluding with foreign States or forces located abroad in order to endanger national security, are subject to serious penalties. The very fact that there was a law had a deterrent effect. So, a number of organizers of the Hong Kong protests, including Pro-Western youth activist J. Wong, announced the end of their anti-government activities and the dissolution of radical parties such as Demosisto and the Hong Kong national front. Much of Hong Kong's elite and many businesses, including British banking giant HSBC, have welcomed the passage of this law, which strengthens long-term stability and promotes prosperity in Hong Kong.
In any case, US threats to impose financial and economic sanctions against Hong Kong have not yet caused an outflow of capital from it. The main thing that most threatened Hong Kong was the constant protests that undermined the economy and scared off tourists and property buyers. To remain an attractive financial haven, the situation must remain stable. And the new Hong Kong security law will contribute to this.
Iranian expert Mortaz Ashrafi made the expected report: "Assessment of events in Hong Kong from the point of view of Iranian-Chinese relations". He compared the protests in Hong Kong and in Iraq, which arose for different political and social reasons. But they have one thing in common: the intervention of external forces, primarily the United States.
According to the Chinese government, Western support for the Hong Kong independence movement (USA, UK) and Beijing's accusations of violating democracy in the region have undermined its national sovereignty. This, as well as support by some Western countries for Taiwan's independence, creates a serious challenge to the one-China policy and exacerbates problems on its territory, including the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region (XUAR). Their goal is to put pressure on China and weaken it.
The issue of Hong Kong was raised by the UK and the US when Washington unleashed a trade war against Beijing and the situation in the South China Sea once again escalated. The Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) condemns any foreign interference in the internal Affairs of the PRC and violation of its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Tehran also supports the rule of law for the stability, prosperity and security of Hong Kong residents.
Under President Trump, the US is particularly keen to contain and isolate China. Their strategy for controlling other countries includes pre-emptive wars, coups d'etat, and "color revolutions", which also manifests itself in Hong Kong in the form of covert war. Through strikes, mass street protests and propaganda, Americans are trying to change the current government. Sometimes this leads to military conflict. Taking into account the last year of Trump's rule and the need to form a favorable public opinion, the US is strengthening its opposition to China as the main external enemy.
China has repeatedly proved that it not only does not trade its sovereignty, but it vigorously protects it. And Chinese President XI Jinping has repeatedly warned that Beijing's sovereignty over Hong Kong is a red line for the country's government.
Mohammad al-Wadi, who was the Ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) to China for nine years, made a fundamentally different point of view about the causes and consequences, as well as the prospects for the development of the situation in Hong Kong. For many years, he followed developments in Hong Kong, first as a diplomat and then as President of the China and Asia research center. This was reflected in a number of books by M. al-Wadi.
In his speech, it was stressed that although Hong Kong is part of China, it has the status of a special zone for a period of 50 years under the Treaty between Beijing and London, which entered into force in 1997. This special status has created conditions for many problems for both China and Hong Kong.
In his view, it is impossible to assign responsibility for the events that are taking place only to the United States and interpret what is happening in Hong Kong as an American conspiracy or "color revolution". This approach does not reveal all the reasons for the tension in this region. M. al-Wadi believes that most of the responsibility for what happened lies with the Hong Kong administration and the Hong Kong Affairs committees and organizations in Beijing, which hid the failed course of this administration, which led to tragic consequences.
When the agreement to transfer Hong Kong to China came into force twenty-three years ago, the city's residents did not protest. Most of them were supporters of this agreement in the hope of achieving greater prosperity for their island. In addition, many residents of Hong Kong were proud of their belonging to such a large country as China.
But these hopes were not fulfilled. As a result, in 2018, about 90% of Hong Kong residents said they did not consider themselves Chinese and were not proud of it. This indicates a significant decrease in Patriotic sentiment towards the Chinese mainland.
In 1997, half of China's trade passed through Hong Kong, and in 2019 this value decreased to 10%, which created serious economic problems on the island. If in 1997, the standard of living in Hong Kong was the highest in the PRC, in 2019, five major Chinese cities overtook Hong Kong in terms of living standards.
When the agreement between the UK and China was signed, there was almost no unemployment in Hong Kong, especially among young people. Then the island became the center of attraction for smart and rich people all over the world. In 2019, the unemployment rate in Hong Kong reached almost 6%, and even 11% among young people. Many of the young people are seriously thinking about immigrating to other countries in search of work.
Based on his personal assessments, M. al-Wadi concluded that the gap between rich and poor is deepening in Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands of urban residents began to live in difficult conditions, often in rooms with no windows with an area of only 5 m2. If Hong Kong used to be proud of the freedom of the press, the independence of writers and journalists, now this is not observed.
The reason for the significant decline in living standards in Hong Kong is that several family clans have taken over the land, power, and wealth of the entire island. Hong Kong has become one of the most expensive cities in the world; it is quite difficult to buy housing in it because of the monopoly of large companies on most of the land and real estate on this island. It is also a matter of concern that the rights of the middle class are restricted by the law on proportional elections.
All this has led to the frustration of local residents, the emergence of protests and doubled the number of opponents of China. The US used this situation to interfere in Hong Kong's internal affairs. As a result, Beijing took unpopular measures that conflicted with its international obligations. The main ones were the law on the extradition of accused persons and the law on national security, which, according to M. al-Wadi, restricted the ability of local residents to protest and contributed to reducing the independence of judges. The process of reviewing curricula in schools and universities has begun.
Hong Kong, which was a catalyst for China's growth and progress, has become a political, economic, and ideological battleground between China and the West. The latter accused Beijing of abandoning the principle of one country, two systems, and losing international trust. This is shown by the sanctions imposed against the DPRK. Thus, the cancellation of the special status of Hong Kong may lead to the departure of more than 700 American companies from it. The UK also announced its readiness to grant its citizenship to 3 million residents of the city.
Another consequence of the tense situation in Hong Kong was the strengthening of separatist sentiment in Taiwan. In such circumstances, the government of Taipei may request military assistance from the United States, contrary to earlier agreements. In addition, the role of Hong Kong as the financial center of the PRC is significantly reduced, which causes significant damage to it.
M. al-Wadi believes that this can be avoided if the reform policy pursued by the Chinese leadership will be extended to Hong Kong. The latter will be subject to a policy of "soft power" while correcting the mistakes of the local administration. After all, 2.5 thousand years ago, the Chinese thinker sun-Tzu in his book "the Art of war" wrote: "Winning wars without fighting is the culmination of skill".
Anastasia Shevchenko in her report: "Hong Kong and China. Mentality and cross-cultural differences " showed how people sometimes from opposite cultures interact using the example of Hong Kong and China.
According to Aristotle, methods of persuasion include ethos, pathos, and logos. Asians globally are closest to the methods of ethos – it is common sense and reflection. But it is clear that there is a mental Gulf between Japan and Singapore.
One can see, for example, the attitude to Confucianism with the help of two pyramids. One shows the desire for absolutization, and the second – adaptation to tradition. Absolutization says that one should never lose face. Adaptable cultures, such as Hong Kong, assume that it is not good to lose a face, but in principle it is not the end of life. Where the conventional representative of China hides feelings, adaptable cultures say that only the majority of feelings should be hidden. If the representative of China says: "Never criticize", then this is not forbidden in Hong Kong.
For a traditionally educated Chinese, respect for rank is a commandment. In Hong Kong, you will be told that it is necessary and possible to adapt to the rank. Where a Chinese person uses hidden connections, a Hong Kong resident does so openly. While China is doing its best to preserve and maintain its own cultural norms, Hong Kong respects them, but in principle is willing to act in accordance with the cultural norms of other countries. Listening well is a well-known part of Chinese etiquette. And they try to fit the other person's wishes into their sentences, reacting to the speech.
The manner of speaking Chinese is much more important than what they say (classical high-context culture). Hong Kong is a place where entrepreneurship is in the blood. It gives you a sense of urgency. People in Hong Kong listen to the facts, and time and money are important to them. Previously, Hong Kong conducted all China's trade operations with the West, South Korea and Taiwan, without making any obvious compromises within its own state.
Negotiations are the same as relationships between people, which are very different. Thanks to extensive contacts with the West, the Chinese are extroverts. They often come to a meeting as part of a delegation, all together participates in negotiations, but the decision - maker rarely attends such meetings. We can say about them that the Chinese weave lace, wear out the negotiators, but in the end they try to harmonize the process. As for Hong Kong, everything is different there: more open, direct and fast. Their goal is to quickly isolate the essence, to come to a deal with foreigners. This style is not Asian. But at the same time, Hong Kong residents care about preserving the face of each of the participants in the negotiation process.
The decision-making process is also different. A third of purchases made in the world are influenced by bloggers (public opinion leaders), and in China this figure will be close to 95% in a few years. Why are the Chinese ahead of the world by such a margin? It lies in their mentality. The Chinese don't like to make decisions on their own. The education system in China focuses on memorization and standardized testing. In public schools, teachers do not require an understanding of the topic, but only the ability to reproduce word-for-word text from a textbook. This is valued much higher, so most Chinese universities work in fairly narrow areas and specializations.
Hieroglyphic writing is the same. In the first six months, Chinese children learn 400 characters. If a student does not learn them and learn them by heart, they will not be able to continue their education (rote learning system). To this must be added the Confucian system of society, that is, the pursuit of the absolute, which does not involve critical thinking. According to Confucius, the state is the largest family, where all people are brothers. This principle applies to the state, the district, the city, and the family. This is blind submission and trust. Since school, the average Chinese has not been trained to think critically. In private universities, programs are built differently, but they are only available to representatives of the Chinese elite.
The education system in Hong Kong is based on British traditions. This is expressed not only in the popularization of the English language, but also in the form and methods of presenting knowledge. English education avoids a narrow approach to learning. First of all, it involves critical thinking, which is not inclined to take everything for granted. Therefore, on the one hand, Hong Kong produces specialists who are in demand around the world. On the other hand, most of its residents, ethnic Chinese, have been brought up in the British legal system for three generations.
In some ways, the difference in mentality between the people of Hong Kong and the rest of China is similar to the Russian aristocrats who settled in Paris after the revolution of 1917. Russian children and grandchildren have Russian roots, they speak Russian perfectly, but they have different values with modern residents of the Russian Federation. Education environment received different. They love Russia very much, but they can't stay in their homeland for a long time.
From her point of view, the Chinese view Hong Kong from the perspective of Confucianism. The people of Hong Kong are the bearers of their own culture, they are not Chinese culturally, but they are not British. As for the communication model, the ability to listen and make decisions, it is necessary to look for an approach to them through the values of the American model of the world.
The experts discussed the current state of US–Chinese and European-Chinese relations. In particular, this was considered by Baron Alexander Zanzer in his report "international economic situation after Covid-19". He supported the speech of Ambassador Mohammad al-Wadi, based on his experience of twelve years as honorary Consul General of Mongolia in Belgium. He is somewhat disappointed in China, which was previously known as a country with a lot of patience. However, recently, China has become more aggressive in its foreign policy, which increases the number of enemies. It is possible that this is a mistake in the marketing of the Chinese economic and political systems. As a result, many foreign companies that do not want to depend on the PRC are reorienting, for example, to India or Vietnam. This is also facilitated by the fact that China is no longer a country with cheap production.
In his opinion, the current situation with Covid-19 has reduced the role of not only Russia, but also China in Europe. The EU has decided to pay off debts as a single country, which no one previously agreed to, which brings European States together. Stability is maintained on the world's exchanges. By the summer of 2021, either Europe will be vaccinated, or they will get used to living in conditions of coronavirus. And this is despite the fact that now in Belgium and other European countries there is a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In Belgium, there are 70% more infected people every day.
Any economic disaster creates advantages for certain groups of the population. The economy is switching to online trading, which in the US has been for a long time and speaks about the process of globalization. Chinese companies like Alibaba could benefit from this, but Beijing has become too quick to promote its own interests. The example of Huawei shows that the Americans do not want to transfer control over 5G networks to the Chinese.
On July 28, the Belgian government banned working in offices and demanded that everyone be transferred to "remote". In addition, taxes have been reduced for those who work at home. And the longer this goes on, the more companies get used to this situation. And they come to think that they have too many jobs, especially in Europe. This will create problems with unemployment.
Zanzer wished that China would restore its relations with Europe and other countries. In his opinion, it will have no big problems with the United States, since they are too dependent on each other. The Chinese have invested in us government securities, and the US needs Chinese production.
Professor Anton Kozlov made a presentation: "Historical complexities of US-China relations". Professor Kozlov believes that the American attitude to the situation in Hong Kong does not reflect the American desire to "break up" China. This is just an episode of American foreign policy. First, US-Chinese relations have a long history. Second, there is no unified position on China within the American political establishment. There are different positions there. But under the President Trump rather radical position towards Beijing prevailed. Previously, Republican presidents such as George H. W. Bush, just like his son, took a fairly moderate position towards China.
The foreign policy of the United States in many respects has a certain missionary character, although of course not as clearly as in the XIX century. After the colonization of North America, American influence began to expand in the Pacific region, toward China and Japan. It had two vectors: religious missionaries (Protestant) and trade cooperation, the so-called "open door policy". In the United States, it has always been believed that free trade will help spread the American ideas of freedom and democracy, which will inevitably win as a result.
On the other hand, it was believed that these very ideas would have an educational effect in countries where Christianity was not yet accepted. Therefore, when the Americans in the early 1840’s began to negotiate with China about possible cooperation, their trade agreement provided for the possibility of American missionaries working on Chinese territory. In General, the idea of Christianizing China has long occupied the minds of the American military and political elite-just remember the father of American geopolitical thought, Admiral Alfred Mahan.
The Open door policy between China and the United States existed officially from 1899 to 1949. After Mao Zedong came to power, an ideological standoff arose between Washington and Beijing. Americans did not accept communism as an ideology or political movement. They were also outraged by the persecution of Christian missionaries in China. As a result, the John Burch society, the most radical of all anti-Communist organizations, was established in the United States in 1958. It was named in honor of the American missionary, J. D. Burch, who was shot by the Chinese Communists in 1945. According to American political commentators, the ideas of the above society play an important role in the trump administration today.
When Deng Xiaoping launched a policy of reform in China, the United States supported them, believing that in the course of modernization, China will be transformed into a system with democratic institutions of power. This should have been a guarantee of stability and security. Indeed, the Chinese economy has become one of the most powerful in the world, but the political transformation has not happened. Moreover, the economic growth of the PRC has enabled the Chinese to build up their military power and defend their own interests not only through diplomacy, but also through military means.
While the cold war was going on and the Soviet Union existed, the United States did not perceive the PRC at all for a long time, considering it an illegitimate state entity. Alexander Hague, former NATO commander in Europe and later US Secretary of state, in his own words, suggested that the Soviet Union in 1969 jointly attack China with nuclear weapons. This vividly shows how Americans felt about China.
The US and China did not have diplomatic relations until 1979. The warming in bilateral relations began with the visit of President Richard Nixon to China in 1972. It took seven years to stabilize the situation and establish diplomatic relations.
In the 1980’s, China went through a period of economic transformation and growth of about 11-12% of GDP per year. Beijing has become a close economic partner for Washington. American companies were moving manufacturing facilities to China, from consumer goods to computers. The Chinese, in turn, bought American government debt. For a long time, the US did not perceive China as a threat. But after the suppression of student protests in 1989 in Tiananmen Square, there is first an informal group called Blue team appeared in Washington. The Blue team united American experts and politicians who call themselves that because the red team (as in the exercise) is the Chinese. In the second half of the 1990’s, the Blue team gained political weight by warning the country's leadership not to be complacent about China. The latter will use its economic achievements to create a modern army and as a result will be a serious threat to American interests in Southeast Asia. The Blue team's views on China are not as radical as those of members of Burch society, but they are also quite aggressive against him. One of the ideologists of the Blue team Peter Navarro is now an adviser to President D. Trump and directs The Commission on trade and industrial production under the President.
On the other hand, the trade balance of the United States and China at the time of the trade war in March 2018 was such that Americans bought 5.5 times more in China than they sold (the foreign trade deficit reached $419 billion). After the migration of American production to China and other countries, Americans became producers of services and intellectual property. This was beneficial for the American consumer, but led to a huge crisis in those regions of the United States where industrial production was traditionally located. There, the problem of unemployment and other social problems have worsened. It is enough to visit Detroit to see what has become of the American automobile industry. Accordingly, D. Trump, being a populist and demagogue, created political capital on this discontent with China. And it was supported by those forces that initially considered the PRC as a state hostile to the United States.
Since the establishment of US-Chinese diplomatic relations, the current confrontation is a fairly new situation. D. Trump de facto began to pursue a policy of quasi-isolation and promised to abandon intervention outside the US borders and reduce the US military presence in the world. Thus, D. Trump went against the American foreign policy establishment, which previously determined the country's foreign policy. One should not forget that since 1945, the United States has regularly opened new bases around the world and has been a defender of the ideas of global liberal democracy. This was a clearly defined American foreign policy strategy, the so-called Pax Americana.
D. Trump has mobilized forces that view China primarily as an economic enemy and united them with China's ideological opponents – those who traditionally view China as a totalitarian Communist regime…
In six months or four and a half years, D. Trump will leave the White House. Along with it, the policy towards China will also change. This does not mean that the confrontation between Washington and Beijing will disappear, it will take other forms. Without open confrontation, trade war and political destabilization.
Now the Americans strongly demand that the Chinese accept the terms of the Hong Kong opposition. According to Professor Kozlov, this is a temporary phenomenon. Because one must assume that every administration that comes to the White House brings its own ideas and its own view of where and how American foreign policy should develop. In this regard, relations between China and Hong Kong should be viewed from the perspective of the agreements that were signed in 1982 and in 1997. There is no need to dramatize the situation.
Professor Kozlov believes that if Joseph Biden wins in November 2020, the Democrats will continue anti-Chinese rhetoric about human rights, but they will stop the trade war with China. Because if the Americans return all their production capacity to the United States, the prices of their goods will rise very seriously and no one will buy them anymore. But the anti-China rhetoric will continue, because Democrats tend to be even more aggressive on ideology than Republicans.
As for the situation in the South China Sea, Professor Kozlov noted that the armed conflict around the Spratly Islands has a long history (25 years). Different States are involved in it. The Americans have interests there, too. In this regard, the United States will continue to use the naval forces, which they do regularly, to implement their foreign policy interests.
Count Sergei Kapnist spoke on the topic: "Velvet threats to stability". He noted the importance of Russian-Chinese cooperation in solving both regional and global problems. This includes the fight against the coronavirus epidemic and the formation of a multipolar world order in the future.
Political consultant, President of the Aurora Expertum Club, adviser to the President of the Russian Red Cross society from Paris Andrey Marudenko made a report: "On the methodology of the velvet revolutions. The revolutionary potential of the situation in Hong Kong". First, he considered the phenomenon of the "velvet revolution", which refers to the technology of organizing public pressure on the government in order to change it or get some kind of preferences. It was developed in the United States by Gene Sharp.
Three of its elements should be singled out:
a) the energy of protest that should be present in the local society, the management of the protest and its capitalization;
In the case of Hong Kong, this is the case. First, the national security law caused mass riots. Secondly, on September 6, elections to the legislative body of Hong Kong will be held, which will again create a protest situation.
b) the presence of a revolutionary infrastructure;
It is not yet clear how much it is created in Hong Kong and who is involved in it.
c) the pressure on the government from outside.
In Hong Kong, such pressure is exerted, primarily by the United States. But it is not clear whether it is only as an element for the introduction of additional financial and economic sanctions against the PRC or as an element for solving political problems.
The task of the government to work with the protest means to work with the leaders of public opinion. The ruling government should close the street, which in the mid-2000’s was quite effectively done in the Russian Federation, when mass youth movements ("Nashi", "Young guard") were created, fearing the Ukrainian scenario of 2004. The latter clearly showed that the government keeps the street under control and will not allow mass protests.
The tasks of the opposition: stirring up the protest and creating a revolutionary infrastructure, which begins with the creation of the so-called "fifth column" and ensuring its support (in Ukraine, it was created in the early 2000’s). At this time, humanitarian organizations systematically work with public opinion leaders, experts and representatives of the elite. Cultural and educational projects are implemented through the grant system, and exchanges of schoolchildren and students are organized. The legal opposition is usually funded.
It is still not clear whether Hong Kong has an external control center for the protest movement, as was the case, for example, in Georgia or Ukraine. Whether it is still an internal center, which was formed spontaneously as a result of the activities of local elites.
Then, as part of the revolutionary infrastructure, street mobilization networks are created in advance to manage the active minority. This is done by special people who have the necessary training. In particular, they use sectarian technologies and methods of changing the state of consciousness. A hierarchy of coordinators and a system of remuneration are created. Young people are involved in this process through elements of an entertainment show. At the same time, popular musicians should take the side of the revolution. As a rule social networks are actively used.
If one is talking about majority rule, then in the course of the velvet revolution it is necessary to achieve its passive support, enlist neutrality, or sow fear in those people who would like to go out in defense of the government. All this requires the use of modern technologies for managing large amounts of data, which was done, for example, by Cambridge Analytics in the Trump's presidential election. Here, the most precise message for each person is important, based on the analysis of their profile in social networks. This allows one to accurately give a certain political message to a person, taking into account their personal preferences and preferences, as well as psychological characteristics. And on a statistical scale, these technologies work well.
If one talks about the elements of the scenario, we first need some reason for mass demonstrations (this took place in Hong Kong), and then provocations, often bloody. But they are the ones that polarize society as much as possible and allow the situation to rock. It happens against the background of mandatory use of elements of political branding, mythology and simplification of reality. Such simplicity should be packed in clear constructions: "one's own-another's", criminal power against the people, etc. In 1979, in Iran, it was "the struggle of faithful against the American devils".
Then, when there is both a reason and energy of protest, a partially organized crowd takes to the streets and begins to put pressure on the authorities and individuals. At the same time, the rest of the population, who are dissatisfied with the policy of the ruling power, is involved in mass demonstrations, or they receive their tacit approval or non-interference. Such events are made by an active minority while the majority is passive. The crowd needs technological control and maintenance of a certain degree of mass mood. This is done by specially trained people and pre-appointed coordinators.
After the situation has reached its climax, the broadcast of the desired image goes to the international media. In this case, reports from the scene are covered at a certain angle using the desired video and semantic series. Then the process of information pressure on the authorities is activated, using the rhetoric of human rights violations, genocide, totalitarianism, etc. The international community at the level of existing institutions begins to put pressure on the authorities, both at the level of top officials, foreign Ministries and international organizations. The question of the legitimacy of the current government is being raised in the international community, strict demands are being made on it, and pressure is increasing.
Then responsibility for the state is assumed by a new group that declares it legitimate. It usually refuses to have a dialogue with the current government. The international community publicly supports this group and declares it legitimate. This group publicly undertakes to meet international requirements. As a result, under increasing internal and external pressure, the ruling power changes.
The classic scheme of the velvet revolution is as follows. Fair social protest under the influence of revolutionary infrastructure and management from the coordinating body is properly directed. Then the organized crowd provides pressure on the government and the desired image appears in the international media. The international community is getting involved, which is also putting pressure on the current government to abdicate its powers.
At the end of the webinar Vyacheslav Valerianov noted that the framework was able to collect very different opinions and serious analysts from Europe and Asia. All speakers are consolidated by the desire for stability in the development of our society and the entire world. They are in favor of strengthening interaction between countries in the form of dialogue. At the same time, no one supports radical actions of discontented citizens who are moving from a peaceful state to some more active, extremist ones.
In his opinion, it was generally possible to reach a consensus, which is most important for ensuring economic development, strengthening democracy and solving the problems facing the ruling elites of different countries, among which China occupies an important place. And everywhere there is their own opposition and practice of solving internal problems. There are no infallible actions, as well as absolutely correct decisions. And not always even wise advice from abroad can play a positive role.
As a result of the discussions, the participants of the international conference agreed that the coronavirus pandemic provided an opportunity for many global actors to use this event for their own interests, not related to public health issues. This is clearly seen in the example of the relationship between China and the United States. The experts concluded that the legal protection of national interests is important, that the policy of diktat, sanctions, "double standards", falsification of history, and attempts on state sovereignty are unacceptable, and that it is necessary to establish a system of international relations that would exclude such phenomena.