China Steps Up

Folks like Thomas Barnett who’ve been wondering when and whether the Chinese would take a stand for international order just got their answer:

China and several Central Asian nations rebuffed Russia’s hopes of international support for its actions in Georgia, issuing a statement Thursday denouncing the use of force and calling for the respect of every country’s territorial integrity.

Not a call the Chinese necessarily needed to make, and not one you’d have expected from their prior willingness to play footsie with Putin. Galrahn sees an opening for a deal:

Russia needs the west to accept the independence of two breakaway provinces pretty bad right now, too bad there is no government for the west to recognize. Good news for Russia though, serious cooperation in regards to Iran while they stand up a couple of democratic governments could go a long way towards Russia achieving its objectives. Democracy doesn’t happen over night, if Russia sets up a couple democracies, which could take a year, and works with the west over that time period towards stopping Iranian nuclear development, I’d say there is a good bargain for both sides to be made.

“Democratic” is a pretty unrealistic hope, but the rest could be possible.

Addendum: Could the Chinese government’s attitude stem in some small part from seeing how its citizens reacted to Team USA in the Olympics? There were several occasions, the women’s soccer semi-final and the men’s basketball final most notably, when it was like our men and women were playing a home game.

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