Unilateral Military Act Not Able to Win Public Support

Journal Title: The Current Digest of the Chinese Press

Issue Edition: Vol. 9, No. 1-2

Author: Zhong Sheng


By Zhong Sheng. Renmin Ribao (人民网, People’s Daily Online), Jan. 8, 2020, http://en.people.cn/n3/2020/0108/c90000-9646917.html. Complete text:

Every country shoulders the responsibility to safeguard international peace and security. Any abuse of power or risky military act is not acceptable for the international society.

At present, the world is concerned about the possible results of the attack by the US forces near Baghdad International Airport launched on Jan. 3. The tension between the US and Iran increased the risk of military conflict, and has injected new uncertainties into the already complicated situation in the Middle East.

To have an objective and just stance and follow the principle of justice and equity is the right way to solutions amid difficulties and troubles.

As China has proposed, all sides should earnestly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations. Furthermore, Iraq’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected, and peace and stability in the Gulf Region of the Middle East must be upheld.

The international community also voiced support for justice to safeguard peace and stability. Russia stands against grossly trampling on other country’s sovereignty, especially through unilateral military operations. France opposes the use of force in international relations. The Syrian Foreign Ministry says the attack reaffirms the US responsibility for the instability in Iraq as part of its policy to create tensions and fuel conflicts in the countries of the region.

The US unilateral military practice also spurred opposition from the international public; US citizens are among those anti-war groups. On Jan. 4, groups of protesters took to the streets in Washington and Chicago to condemn the US air strike. They held signs that read “No war or sanctions on Iran” “US troops out of Iraq!” and “No justice, no peace. US out of the Middle East!”

A survey last year by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs found nearly half of Americans believe military interventions make the US less safe, which indicates that unilateral military intervention hurts others without benefiting the US itself and wins no public support.

It is not feasible to solve the contradictions between the US and Iran through military strikes and exerting extreme pressure. The relations between the two countries have kept deteriorating since the US unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, and restarted sanctions against Iran. The US enhanced its extreme pressure against Iran especially since last May.
 The JCPOA is an important result of multilateral diplomacy that embodies the efforts of all parties related. It also offers important support for safeguarding the peace and stability in the Middle East. Currently, each party should maintain close communication and shift away the influence of the US strike on the execution of the JCPOA. Only peaceful settlement through political means can stop the vicious circle of retaliatory violence, and only by promoting dialogue and cooperation with inclusiveness can sustained solutions be found.

“This is a moment in which leaders must exercise maximum restraint. The world cannot afford another war in the Gulf,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the UN in a statement. It reflected the aspiration of the international society. All acts that exacerbate the tension in the Middle East would bring infinite disasters. The military actions taken against Iraq in 2003, as well as the external military intervention in the chaos in West Asia and North Africa in 2011 have brought lasting pain to these regions that only the indigenous could feel. The conscientious people from the international community were also clear about the trauma.

Facts once again proved that unilateral military acts are not able to solve problems, but only lead to the other way around – a vicious circle of confrontation that is not easy at all to end. The Middle East needs stabilizers rather than new conflicts. Members of the international community should actively safeguard international law and justice, play a responsible role in properly handling the situation in the Middle East, inject positive energy to achieving peace and stability in the region, and proactively bring each party concerned to the right track of seeking solutions through dialogue.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)

(Editors: Hongyu and Bianji)

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