By Shazia Anwer Cheema
Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar confirmed to foreign media at the end of the Group of 20 meeting in New Delhi that meeting was finished without a consensus on the Ukraine conflict. He also confessed that G20 missed a collective statement. “If we had a perfect meeting of minds on all issues, it would have been a collective statement,” commented Jaishankar.
Whosoever was following the G20 meeting could expect that nothing would come in favor of Ukraine although western countries planned a favorable statement against Russia and China out of this meeting. However, it was unexpected that western members would directly bracket China with Russia for the Ukraine crisis. The sharp response of China was also unexpected when China and Russia both said that they would not let western countries threaten them for something they were not responsible for. According to the Arab News Russia and China criticized the west for employing “blackmail and threats” against other countries. A unanimous rejection from both countries was expressed of attempts to interfere in their internal affairs by imposing unilateral approaches through blackmail and threats and to oppose the democratization of international relations.
In 2014 and 2015, China increased defence budget by around 12 to 10 percent and then a steady projection of 6 to 7 percent is maintained. Considering the continuous external threats China is receiving, the projection in defence budget of China is the right measure at a right time.
Just a day after releasing a strong statement, China on March 5, 2023 (today) announced a 7 percent increase in its defence spending stating that China is facing external threats. Chinese military would get funding totaling $225 billion in 2023. Bloomberg reports that China has said it wants a ‘world-class force’ in place by 2027. China also plans to increase its public security budget by 6.4% — the fastest pace in five years.
This situation indicates that China is now responding to western initiatives that include AUKUS, and Quad, encouraging the opening of Taiwanese offices in Europe, encircling Chinese trade routes, and now bracketing China with Russia. In 2014 and 2015, China increased defence budget by around 12 to 10 percent and then a steady projection of 6 to 7 percent is maintained. Chinese defence experts believe that considering the continuous threats China is receiving from NATO allies, the projection in defence budget of China is the right measure at a right time.
One can say that the voices raised during the G20 meeting for further sanctioning China for its alleged role in the Ukraine conflict got an appropriate response from China for announcing further projections in its defence budget. The impression of sanctions has a binary relation with the powerful. I realize it is a primitive type of social and economic boycott of the undesired elements of society. In recent history, we have experienced it through the United States. Humanity and the human race are the prime concern of the USA having that any sovereign country can face American-led sanctions if that country involves in an unlawful act against homosapians.
According to Reuters News Agency, this time “US seeks allies’ backing for sanctioning China over Ukraine war”. To simplify if China provides any moral or physical support to Russia, China will be further sanctioned, there is a hearsay about Chinese military support to Russia which is providing perfect grounding for a social and economic boycott against China.
The point to be understood is why there is a pick and choose on the basis of military support, for instance, if China and Russia decide to sell arms in an open market that is propagated as against humanity contrary to a western country where the same action is propagated as saving the humanity. My consistent pondering has made a revelation about the fact that this entire game of saving humanity and protecting the sovereignty of a country is based on rhetoric. The News from Reuters mentioned above needs to see in connection with another news provided by the same news agency. The news says:
“The United States has approved the potential sale of 619 million USD in new weapons to Taiwan, including missiles for its F-16 fleet, as the island reported a second day of large scale Chinese air force incursion nearby”. The news further explains, “the Pentagon said on Wednesday the US State Department has approved the potential sale to Taiwan of arms and equipment that includes 200 anti-aircraft Advanced Medium Range Air-to-air Missiles (AMRAAM) and 100 AGM-88B HARM Missiles that can take out land base radar stations”.
This proposed sale is categorized as a humane sale because it will enhance the defense capacity of the buyer however any other arm sale done other than the US is always an inhumane act of destruction, for the sake of hegemony and to disrupt the world order and world peace.
I personally consider the arms industry destructive by having destruction at its core, no matter how powerful the rhetoric would be, arming conflicts and fueling the armed conflict cannot be justified. The procurement of weapons of destruction by the west for Ukraine is as destructive as selling arms to Taiwan.
Analysts supporting the US arms market tend to forget that rhetoric is perspective dependents, it may work from one perspective but there is a rational chance that it will not work from another perspective. Furthermore, the western notion of perspective control may helpful till the moment they keep applying strict filters to any other perspective contradictory to their design rhetoric but that does not mean perspective does not exist or cannot exist.
The global mode of communication primarily media is controlled by those who share and enjoy the same perspective but the deprivation of voicing a viewpoint other than mainstream western media’s perspective is suffocating and it is culminating in detachment and anger.
As living in a part of the world and witnessing the aftermath of saving the humanity rhetoric I find myself mute to articulate the ground realities. Who will be saved, why, and how has always been decided without taking the actual stakeholders’ perspective. The same is the case with Indo-Pacific; the directly involved parties are not even on the discussion table of saving the Indo-Pacific from China, even China is standing as an outsider having no say in the western media to voice its opinion about who is saving whom and why above all the supreme savior the USA is always there; crossing miles and miles to tell the related bodies about its plan of saving “A” from “B”. I think a common American may not have imagined how his/her identity has become synonymous with meddling in the sovereign countries’ internal affairs.
It is high time to give space to “other perspectives” as there is always more than one. Media and voice control are no more an option, voices do exit and do get heard. The US branding of” for and against humanity” has become a farce, for a neutral observer and it is hard to comprehend an action done by the US is branded as for humanity, and the same action done by US’s adversaries automatically brands as against humanity. It is crucial to internalize that the entire world cannot unanimously consider the US’s enemy, an enemy of entire humanity.
Note: Writer Shazia Anwer Cheema is an author, columnist, and foreign affairs expert who writes for national and international media. She is a doctoral student and researcher in semiotics and philosophy of communication at Charles University in Prague. She can be reached at her: Twitter @ShaziaAnwerCh Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.