China’s “Three Nos”


June 4, 2015

China’s “Three Nos”

By Mikle1

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

The PRC just issued its ninth White Book which deals with the matters of national security. There is an opinion in some countries that imagines China’s enemies are Washington and Tokyo, and that China is fighting against them together with Moscow. Therefore China decided to clarify that it is not going to enter into an alliance with Russia, it is not acting against the US, and it is not attempting to avenge itself on Japan. China’s current strategy is based on these “Three Nos”.

No to an alliance with Russia. It’s important to note that although Moscow and Beijing are expanding cooperation and have an identical point of view on the need for a multipolar world and preserving regional stability, to the point of conducting joint military maneuvers, the two countries are in favor of establishing a multi-faceted partnership which will not take the form of a military alliance.

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No to confrontation with the US. PRC Chairman Xi Jinping underscored many times that the Pacific Ocean is “big enough” both for Beijing and Washington, and expressed hope that it will be possible to establish a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding devoid of conflict and confrontation. At the same time, China is not ignoring US military presence along the Pacific Rim. However, Xi Jinping is in favor of preserving the regional order formed after WW2: he is not against US bases in South Korea and Japan or the pursuit of US interests in the Pacific Rim.

Don’t seek revenge on Japan. Beijing is naturally outraged by Tokyo’s historical falsifications and it is wary of Japanese right wing attempts to restore the country’s militarist tradition. At the same time China understands that its highest priority is economic development which makes cooperation with Japan necessary. Attempts to exact revenge on Japan would not lead to anything good.

To be sure, there are many Chinese that take an opposite point of view on these three issues. It’s also obvious that would be an incorrect, even primitive, policy. It’s important to develop a relationship with these countries on the basis of “Three Nos”. Moderation in everything: be friends with Russia but not to the point of a defense alliance which would lead to a conflict with US and Japan. Be against Japanese militarism but avoid stupid actions that would damage economic cooperation with Japan. When it comes to the US, here Beijing simply doesn’t want to become America’s main enemy.

In actuality it’s easy not to enter into an alliance with Russia, but avoiding a confrontation with the US or a revenge against Japan is more complicated. However, if one approaches the problem with a cool head, international problems can become much easier to resolve. So let’s not forget about the “Three Nos” and try to spread them onto the entire world.

J.Hawk’s Comment: To a large extent Russia’s policy is also based on very similar “Three Nos”–No to an alliance with China, no to revenge on Germany (in this case it’s easier than in China’s case to accomplish, since the Chinese army never did take Tokyo…), and no to confrontation with the US/EU. But since it takes two to tango, it doesn’t matter very much what Moscow or Beijing want. Given that the current Western strategy is a time-honored one of economic and political expansion, that alone is sufficient to turn the Nos into Yes’s. In due time. 

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