War in The Balkans
Paper Lashes at US, NATO for Intervention
From: Beijing Renmin Ribao in Chinese 2 Apr 99 p 6
Paper Lashes at US, NATO for Intervention
Beijing Renmin Ribao in Chinese 2 Apr 99 p 6
"International Forum" Column Article by Fang Qiu (2455 4428): "Never Waver in Upholding the Principle of Non-Intervention"
[FBIS Translated Text] President Jiang Zemin repeatedly dwelled on the need to uphold the five principles of peaceful coexistence in state-to-state relations during his recent tour of Europe. The core of these principles is the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of another country. There is a resurgence of hegemony and power politics in present-day international politics, and a new "gunboat policy" is on the rampage. It is thus of pressing immediate importance to emphasize the principle of non-intervention.
The NATO air strike against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is underway and the Balkan skies are filled with the gunsmoke of war. It is entirely because countries of the West headed by the United State ignored the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, flagrantly intervened in its internal affairs and imposed its will on others that the Kosovo question has evolved from a simple question of a country's internal affairs into the kind of mess today. What Yugoslavia finds unacceptable as an independent sovereign state is foreign encroachment against its sovereignty and their open military intervention.
If we analyze the evolution of the Kosovo crisis, we will clearly see an obvious trait of neo-interventionism in present-day international politics. This refers to intervention in a sovereign state in the name of defending "human rights" and preventing a "humanitarian disaster," using regional military blocs as the tools and the threat of force and direct military strike as the means. According to the logic of this kind of neo-interventionism, the human rights question of a country and all so-called "humanitarian disasters" resulting from political, ethnic and religious conflicts arising from this question may be taken as justifications for foreign intervention. This country's sovereignty becomes something insignificant. The power of ultimate judgment on these so-called humanitarian disasters rests in the hands of individual countries or military blocs. Universally-accepted norms of international law are not observed. When their judgment is not accepted, it is all right for them to willfully resort to military strike without the mandate of the U.N. Security Council. This is the so-called "new principle" observed by U.S.-led NATO forces in the Kosovo crisis. This has been clearly put in an article recently published in The Times: "The new principle extends the legitimate reason for starting a war from self-defense to the defense of human rights in another country. The new principle leaves the power of judgment to another country or alliance when the problem should have been submitted to the United Nations or other international organizations."
Is this what the "new principle" is about? This is nothing but a refurbished version of the "law of the jungle" of the old colonial period, when the strong preyed on the weak. This is typical hegemony and power politics. Will the world not be thrown into confusion if everyone acts according to this "new principle," regards internal conflicts in a sovereign state as "humanitarian disasters," and willfully resorts to military intervention? An American expert on international studies incisively pointed out: "The internal developments of a country, no matter how pathetic they turn, cannot be taken as legitimate grounds for foreign forces to resort to military intervention. This conventional norm should not be cast aside. Without this restriction, the doors to intervention will be crashed open by this or that country using all kinds of justifications or excuses." The fact is, it is none other than the United States -- the only superpower that has absolute supremacy in both economic and military strength -- and NATO which dances to its baton, that claim to have the right and the power to do so, is it not? If people accept this "new principle," they are as good as accepting that the United States and its allies have the privilege to dictate the fate of other countries. This will be disastrous. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, and the boundaries of all countries are sacred and inviolable. Non-intervention in the internal affairs of another country is a basic principle of the U.N. Charter. It is also a universally-acknowledged principle for the handling of international relations since the end of the war, a basic principle summed up by mankind from the sanguinary lessons of World War Two. The substitution of "old" principles such as the principle of non-intervention with the "new principle" of so-called interventionism is decidedly not a sign of progress of the age, but is the cause of chaos and disasters.
It is now clear that NATO's armed intervention in Yugoslavia is decidedly not just intended to force the Yugoslav government into submission. Rather, it is an attempt to establish a precedence for NATO's so-called "strategic new concept" and to impose the "principle" of neo-interventionism on the world. One should not remain silent on such an important issue that has a vital bearing on the defense of the principle of non-intervention, or the world will have to pay the price.
[Description of source -- Beijing Renmin Ribao in Chinese -- daily newspaper of the CPC Central Committee (People's Daily)]
Last changed: April 12, 1999