You'll never read a more instructive short position-paper than this Chinese one on how China should conduct itself vis-à-vis Putin and Ukraine. So rich, so clear-sighted, so crisp, so well stated (and well translated, we must assume). I'm not going to summarise or extract from it: it's quite short and you should read the lot (its headline below is a link).
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On the subject of rich, clear writing, a heartfelt lament. 'Older readers' will recall we once had an active and exceptionally fruitful ongoing dialogue here and elsewhere with 'Hatfield Girl' who blogged at Angels in Marble. Alas, the lady left that blog frozen in its marble state some seven years ago, and if she contributes to the www anymore, I don't know under what moniker. (And I think I'd have spotted it anyway because both her style and thinking were distinctive.) We miss her as much as we miss Raedwald - and that's a serious compliment. Hopefully she hasn't suffered a parallel demise.
Anyhow, as best I can summarise a subtle writer's views without pernicious distortion - perhaps a ridiculous thing to try (and I invite readers who recall her to pitch in on this: there are several of you) - HG held a position roughly as follows:
- there is such a thing as Christendom, however badly represented by current-day man-made institutions
- Christendom can be a great (one of the greatest) and valuable force for civilisation
- Christendom is internationalist in essence (which made HG temperamentally inclined towards the EU, but she was no supporter of Brussels)
- Orthodox Russia would ideally be a strong candidate for inclusion in this vision
... this Europe, core Europe and its surrounding states, is Christendom ... not the 'Jesus wants me for a sunbeam' with tambourine accompaniment Christianity so dear to other parts of the world ... Europe isn't a tyranny - it has been and it could be again - but now it stands against the global, a-cultural imperialists ...
Seeing ... the destructiveness of the current EU's institutions and actions on European democracies ... I turn to Europe's cultural and strategic reason and forces for its unity in the face of uncivilised and rapacious assaults on its values and its peoples. And accept, for now, the Union with all its deficiencies and deficits. The assertion of a single 'West' led by a 'global' America and its interests is repellent. NATO has become a monstrous armed threat to European values.