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Revise UN Charter to contain China's belligerence

By Sudhanshu Tripathi - posted Wednesday, 1 July 2020


China has now attained significant momentum towards its ongoing empire building efforts. Towards this end, unfortunately, it has deviated from the more desirable course of peacefully ascending the ladder of progress. It is evident that China has blatantly taken recourse to unethical means - grabbing land areas, maritime channels and the air space of other countries - with a view to assume unquestioned and unparalleled hegemony over the entire world.

And so today's burning question today is: to how to deal with China's mounting expansionist threats based upon its military power, threats that have indeed become grave concerns for the peace and security of the whole world. To deal with this, there is a need to work out few long-lasting institutional measures, such as revising the UN Charter as well as International Law, with a view to terminating China's permanent membership in the UN Security Council and withholding the permanent recognition granted to it by all sovereign states. Notwithstanding all these steps, the obvious immediate solution open to the lone super power and to all major powers, as well as regional and smaller powers, is to take some concrete and effective steps in a united way so as to form a common front against China.

This front has to work in two directions simultaneously: first, to build an all-encompassing global ideological super structure; and second, gather support in the form of the latest lethal weaponry – a mammoth military buildup to face any unforeseen eventuality. This front must endeavour to unite all liberal and democratic countries into its fold for the purpose of protecting and preserving the liberal-progressive ideologies in the world, all facing serious threats from China's obsolete, monolithic and authoritarian communist party. It is now obvious the democracies must form an international alliance against China and its People's Liberation Army (PLA) so as to effectively deter Beijing. If China takes recourse to military options, these democracies must fight a decisive battle.

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Further, this common front must devise the harshest sanctions against China under the auspices of the United Nations and each of these states must freeze their individual diplomatic relations with China. Again, China's membership in all regional and global forums must be suspended. Similarly, this front must unite in the General Assembly of the United Nations to design special provisions to meet the unprecedented crisis in the world created by China, with a view to restoring international peace and security. These provisions could also aim at ending China's membership in the UN including the UNSC.

This is a difficult task as it requires the revision of the some of the existing provisions of international law as well as the UN Charter, and also because China itself is a permanent member of the UNSC and would obviously veto any motion against it in the Security Council. Yet some special provisions, like the earlier Uniting for Peace Resolution in the wake of the Korean War of 1950-53, might be formulated with the collective efforts of pro-democracy members in the General Assembly.

China's weapons, including nuclear weapons, must also be put under UN control, lest it may retaliate in a hostile way – not unimaginable because China is the most irresponsible and deceptive mighty power in the world which never holds to its promises, nor respects its international obligations, and always stabs in the back to achieve its desired goals.

Further, while the Chinese communist system appears to be the root cause of all these evils, the lifelong presidency of Xi Jinping has added a new dimension. In fact, this obnoxious power concentration into one person is a grave threat to the aspirations of China's populace, especially given the arbitrary and aggressive behavior of all its leaders since the very beginning of the Communist regime. It is that this ongoing dictatorial mess in China needs to be uprooted and replaced by a liberal-democratic socio-economic and political set up be promoted therein. Already Chinese youths have sacrificed themselves – at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Today once again pro-democracy protesters are active and they want to throw away the prevailing autocratic setup.

Through all these measures, taken together, China's aggressions around the globe can be considerably checked and it must be forced to fall in line with the global mainstream, characterized as it is by liberalism, human rights, accountability, transparency and democracy. In fact, all these measures are only temporary, in place only so long as China does not concede that it will abide by the international obligations and common and customary practices of social behaviour. Evidently, China will have to give up its bullying practices and will have to respect territorial unity and integrity of all other nations, whether big or small. Nonetheless, if Beijing still persists with its imperialist and undemocratic policies, if it resorts to war in any way, this united front will be left with no option but to make a fitting reply, one that China deserves. But that option would most probably lead to a third world war, resulting in unimaginable disaster. Of course, this must not happen.

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Article edited by Margaret-Ann Williams.
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About the Author

Dr Sudhanshu Tripathi is Professor at UPTROU, Prayagaraj (UP), Bharat (India).

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