One corner stone of the Chinese foreing policy is the principle of Non-Interference into the internal affairs of another country. If another government slaughter a minority, violates human rights, oppresses women, all this should not matter for the relationships between countries. Only the United Nations, if in unison should have the right to intervene. As getting an unison decision from the UN is difficult today and will become nearly impossible tomorrow, the cementation of national inviolability will become very strong.
I have been until now a fierce critics of this position. My thesis was, in globalized world, there are also global values and a global duty to make them count. I strongly supported the intervention in Kosovo, I strongly support the presence of international military in Afghanistan, I really think that the Sudan government should toppled by a UN backed international intervention force.
I fear I have to change mind. After reading "Return of History" from Robert Kagan (http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/8552512.html) I am realizing the idealistic and dangerous element in my position. I would be scared to death to be part of Kagan's "league of democracies" that would pretend to intervene in other countries.
I think now the Chinese are right. In a multipolar world piece and progress can be maintained only with the strict application of the Non-Interference principle. The much bigger success of the Chinese development aid in Africa is only a small substantiation of that claim.
But there should be some side agreements:
- The UN need to work on principles of which the violation will trigger an UN intervention. I think that the advancement of civilization in all big powers of the world is strong enough to be able to agree on this. The principle of Non-Interference should not become a charter for all dictators and cliques to torture their populations or part of it
- The principle of Non-Interference is valid only for governments, not for people. Non one should hinder me of boycotting Chinese goods (impossible enterprise) if think I want to combate the Chinese policy in Tibet. Mass demonstrations of people all over the world are not a violation of the principle of Non-Interference as the International Brigades in the Spanish civil war would not have been such.
- No government may claim the rigth to tell another government, whom this goverment may speak to from their countries. If Angela Merke wants to receive the Dalai Lama, it is her right! She will receive him as a private person and not as a representative of a Tibetan government in exile, but no government should dare to ask another government not to see citizens or ex-citizens of them