Winter Olympics in Beijing: “Reshaping Geopolitical Division”

By Babar Ala ud din


While athletes are busy proving their mettle out there on the tracks and fields in the ongoing Winter Olympics in Beijing the world is witnessing the echoes of swiftly reshaping the Geopolitical Division.

The star-studded opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing remained the hallmark of the entire event where a number of important world leaders turned out to show their solidarity with the Chinese government amidst calls of a boycott by the United States and the important EU States. While countries like the USA, Canada, Germany and other important EU States have sent their athletes to participate in the games their leaders chose to boycott the opening ceremony citing China’s alleged human rights record as a reason to stay away. This was in particular reference to the issue of the Uighur Muslim community of Xinjiang province viz a viz the internment camps which the government of China terms as rehabilitation centres.

In all leaders of 22 nations attended the opening ceremony as compared to 80 which attended the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The competing list of the world leaders who attended and the ones who did not reflect some of the Geopolitical Divisions that have taken shape amidst deepening confrontation between the US and China. These mainly included leaders of kingdoms like KSA, Qatar and UAE, controlled democracies like Russia and Central Asian Republics, Authoritarian rulers like Egypt and Hybrid Regimes like Pakistan while those who chose to stay away mainly included the aspirants of western democracy.

The occasion was used by Russia and China to show solidarity with each other indirectly conveying a message to US and NATO to stay away from the region. The lengthy and comprehensive official communique issued after the meeting between President Xi and President Putin entailed the envisaged response of two superpowers of the world especially in an indirect reference to the US attempt to contain China and the deployment of forces around Ukraine. Russia’s unequivocal support of “One China Policy” is a significant development in the realm of reshaping the geopolitics division which is now getting significant. Their meeting and a strong-worded statement that they stand with each other has sent a clear message, particularly to Europe that twisting arms of Russia over the Ukraine issue and blocking the Chinese economy over One China Policy would no longer work.

While for time tested US allies like KSA, Egypt and UAE it might have been a gesture of showing support to China as regards the issue of human rights with similar reports about their own record in reference to the authoritarian regimes, for Pakistan it was the reassurance of strong diplomatic ties between the two neighbours especially once Pak- US relations are at their lowest ebb.

Once seen in the overall realm of growing confrontation between the United States and China especially with reports of rapidly growing Chinese economy likely to become the world’s biggest economy in times to come the said projection of event by China is a significant development to show its intentions to US and allies.

The statement issued by the State Department that the US has no issue if its allies wish to have cordial relations with China is an indicator that Washington understands that the world is no more unipolar and narrative bloc-divide is no more possible.

The US understands neither China will compromise over “One China Policy” nor Russia will accept Nato Mantra over the Ukraine standoff. I believe China keeps an eye on the US game to use smaller economies of eastern Europe against China by inviting Taiwan as an independent country and Russia has laid down a design of selling maximum energy to China so it would be in a position to cut or minimize energy (gas—oil) sale to Europe. Of course, both developments would not be very pleasant for Europe.

"Modi's Ultimate Agenda On IOK"Note: The writer retired from Defence, Security, and strategic organization.


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.

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