According to Major General Luo Yuan, member of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People’s Republic of China, the US ultimatum to Syria has backfired on Washington. He has urged Moscow and Beijing to join forces to ward off any further imperial expansion by the United States.
People’s Daily Online: Is the Marxist-leninist outlook on war outdated? What role should the UN play in dealing with problems concerning international wars?
Major general Luo Yuan: There have been several wars recently in the world, including the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Libya. They not only caused large-scale humanitarian disasters but also triggered battles between the warlords. We should reflect on that.
In my opinion, the Marxist-leninist outlook on war is not outdated and there are just and unjust wars. Mao Zedong once said, “There are two kinds of wars in history: just ones and unjust ones. All wars that promote progress are just and those that block progress are unjust. We communists oppose all unjust wars but don’t oppose just wars.”
Nowadays, it seems that the UN doesn’t have a say in the launching of wars. Some hegemonic powers can attack any country they want and in whatever way they like. They can create an excuse even if there is no excuse to launch a war. They can launch a war as they please and no one is there to question if the war is right or wrong. Obviously, unjust wars are not condemned. In today’s international relations, the law of the jungle dominates.
The nature of imperialist war hasn’t changed either. There are still wars of robbery and invasion in which capitalists gain profit. We can see this from the recent wars. Had Libya, Syria, and Iran agreed to submit to the West, would the Western countries still have struck them?
The principles stipulated by the UN are also trampled. Some Western powers can easily avoid the UN if a resolution is not in their interest. The UN should reform and rebuild its authority. It should also sanction countries that violate the purpose and principles of the UN Charter.
People’s Daily Online: If a war breaks out in the Middle East, what will China lose? Does it have effective means to protect its interests in the Middle East?
Major general Luo Yuan: The Middle East involves much of China’s interests. About one fifth of the world’s oil is transported through the Strait of Hormuz, and one third of this goes to China.
China is the biggest buyer of Iran’s oil. Once the source of China’s oil import is troubled, China’s peaceful development will be affected. So we should not turn a blind eye to the problems in Iran and Syria.
I once talked to F. William Engdahl, a US writer. He holds that the US war in Iraq and Libya were both targeted at China, citing the evidence that today 55 percent of China’s oil is imported and by 2020, it will increase to 70 percent. And most of China’s imported oil is from the Middle East and North Africa. So the US actions in the Middle East and North Africa are aimed at checking the rise of China. If even an American can think this far, we should not stay indifferent to the situation.
People’s Daily Online: Do you think a China-Russia collaboration in countering the West’s intervention in the Middle East will cause a bigger world conflict?
Major general Luo Yuan: The collaboration of China and Russia is based on common interests, justice and antihegemony. It is different from the West-East confrontation in the Cold War period. The two are equals in the partnership, which is rather loose. They join when they have common interests and will part when there are clashes in their interests. Everything depends on the countries’ sovereignty and interests.
At present, China and Russia face the same pressures and US actions are pushing the two closer. But their joint step is not enough to check US hegemony, because the strategic setting between the West and East has not changed fundamentally.
Nevertheless, it is better to have some challenges than none. As long as China and Russia persist, a just and fair new international politics and economic order will finally be established.
People’s Daily Online: How can China and the US work together to eliminate the nuclear threat from Iran?
Major general Luo Yuan: In an era of globalization, China and the US have a lot of interests in common, such as the denuclearization of Iran and clearness of the Strait of Hormuz. The two can negotiate in these aspects.