Voice of America interviews IEMS’ David Zweig on China’s reluctance to assign blame Russia on the downing of Flight MH17 over Ukraine

Published on: 2014-07-19

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Voice of America interviewed IEMS’ David Zweig on the downing of the civilian airliner Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukrainian territory by what appeared to be separatist militants using Russian military equipment.

Specifically, David Zweig spoke on China’s reluctance to assign blame to any party out of political expediency:

“David Zweig, professor of politics at Hong Kong’s University of Science and Technology, says China’s restraint reflects Beijing’s ambivalence about the conflict in Ukraine.

“It matches pretty much their view about the separatists in eastern Ukraine, which is that they don’t like them but they don’t want to hurt the relationship with Putin,” he said.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea, as well as mounting evidence that Putin is sponsoring rebel forces in eastern Ukraine did not sit well in China.

Beijing has long championed the principle of non-interference in other countries’ affairs and at home; it blames separatism for heightened tensions in ethnically diverse areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang.

“If the separatists [in Ukraine] get a bad reputation, that doesn’t hurt China, only as it gets closer to Russia maybe they’d gonna be more concerned,” said David Zweig.”

Read the full article here.

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