1. Aussenpolitik

Borders – War or Peace

Beijing, 18.01.2013

Diesen Artikel habe ich gestern auf der Webpage des China Daily, Beijing, publiziert.

Border​s – War or Peace

The history is a history of wars. Most of the time, they were led for the control of territories – at enormous costs in lives and resources.

The current map of the world has developed over the last thousands of years. None of today’s States had since all times its present configuration.  All had in the course of time lost some territories to neighbours or gained some from them.  For instance, the map of Europe was redrawn after the First World War and the nationality of millions of people changed over night even if they had lived during their whole live in the same city or village. Even today, there are still some tensions in Europe resulting from this past upheaval.

Take Alsace, the French region bordering Germany. In the 75 years between1871 and 1945 and each time in connection with a major war, it changed four times between France and Germany. When belonging to Germany, the men had to fight for Germany, when belonging to France they fought for that country. Even small Switzerland had lost in the past some parts to Italy and France.

Would all countries in the world reclaim territories that once belonged to them, the world would be in a constant war.

China has territorial disputes with most of its neighbours. This article deals not with the question whose claims are legally justified. The questions is how to deal with competing territorial claims in the nuclear age.

China has now the unique opportunity to give to the world a shining example that it is prepared to go new ways to solve such disputes.

To start with the hottest conflict: Why not propose to Japan a joint administration of the Diaoyu Islands, with for instance two governors, a Chinese appointed by the Chinese Government and a Japanese nominated by his Government. They would act alternately at intervals of for instance two years, leading a joint administration made up of citizens of both countries. The non acting governor would become the deputy of the acting one.  The important resources that this region is said to hold could be shared between the two countries according to a key that would be established on the basis of some major parameters such as for instance the respective populations, the size of their economies and maybe others.

Should Japan refuse to give such a reasonable, fair proposition a chance, it would certainly loose the sympathy of the world community.

There should be no doubt that it would be a very difficult process to establish such a new form of political entity that would go beyond the traditional nationalism.  Whether it would succeed would depend on the sincerity of both countries, their willingness to compromise and to accept that their claims cannot be satisfied at hundred percent. The people that they delegate to negotiate the deal and later those that shall govern the entity would have to be open minded, reasonable, creative,  willing and able to work with colleagues from another culture.

The trophy would be a long term peace around the disputed area, the re-establishment of good relations between the two countries, both benefitting from a resumption of smooth economic relations,  getting an early access to the resources in the region and avoiding expensive military investments, even a possible very costly military confrontation. As a further step, China and Japan could ask the United Nations to recognize this new entity, thus giving it the political support of the world community.

It would be worth to try this path. With such an initiative, China would demonstrate to the world that it is ready to be a major international player, contributing with a very innovative and reasonable approach to peace and stability in the world.

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Comments to: Borders – War or Peace
  • Januar 25, 2013

    Beijing, 26.01.2013 Sie haben recht. Eine Antwort auf einen Kommentar sollte nicht als Artikel publiziert werden. Ich hatte deshalb 2 mal versucht, hier, wo man auf Kommentare antworten kann, meine Antwort zu publizieren. Sie wurde jedesmal sofort gelöscht und ich musste sie wieder neu schreiben. Deshalb habe ich meine Antwort das dritte Mal als Artikel zu plazieren versucht, was offensichtlich auch gelang.

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