By Fareed Zakaria
“The stark fact is that even if Russian military intervention stops with the establishment of a pro-Russian vassal state in Crimea, Russia will have enormous leverage over the new government in Ukraine,” writes Edward Walker in the Los Angeles Times. “It can cut back on crucial gas deliveries, raise the price of gas and other commodities it is selling to an economically prostrate Ukraine, impose painful tariff and nontariff barriers on trade, and, above all, it can stir up endless trouble for Kiev, not just in Crimea but also in other Russian-speaking regions of the country.”
“In the longer term, the crisis in Ukraine suggests that it is time to reconsider NATO expansion and to explore alternative institutional arrangements for European security in the 21st century. Ukraine, for example, would be much better served by a NATO-Russian-Ukrainian treaty that provided for its military neutrality and some kind of a common customs regime for trade with the EU and Russia (or a Russian-led customs union). It is in no one's interest, least of all Ukraine's, to see a continuation of the dogfight between Russia and the West over Ukraine's external orientation.”
“In China today, the ties between ethnic groups are rooted not in Communism but, for lack of a better word, in ‘GDP-ism’ – faith in economic growth and the push for prosperity. But that is a fragile bargain. Militant Uighurs are motivated largely by resentment of their relationship to Han Chinese,” writes Evan Osnos in The New Yorker.
“Xinjiang’s Uighur population has dropped from ninety-five per cent, in the early twentieth century, to forty per cent, in 2008, thanks to an explicit migration policy intended to bind the country more tightly. On the ground, the development policy has created vast new infrastructure and economic activity, but, crucially, it has also accentuated the socioeconomic gaps between Hans and Uighurs. In Xinjiang today, Hans hold more than thirty five percent of the region’s the high-income jobs, while Uighurs hold thirteen percent. The ratio is widening by the year, fuelled by, and creating, even more resentment and suspicion. The events of 3/1 will make that worse.”