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Democracy hypocrisy sparks refugee crisis

Editor: Tong Xinxin 丨CCTV.com

10-21-2015 16:33 BJT

By Wu Sike, China's former special envoy to the Middle East

The refugee crisis has become Europe’s limbo and has captured worldwide attention. The number of refugees arriving in the continent this year is projected to reach more than half a million, while many refugees are drowning before arriving there.

refugee crisis

refugee crisis

More than 3,000 refugees have been found dead or missing, which is the most severe refugee crisis since World War II. Europe faces social instability. EU member states are fighting each other over the crisis. Europe is struggling with a weak economic recovery and the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis.

EU member states are refusing to uphold new refugee quotas. The root of the refugee crisis was fermented in Europe. Most refugees going to Europe hail from war-torn countries in North Africa and West Asia.

During the first eight months of this year, of the registered 250,000 refugees in Greece, nearly 180,000 of them are Syrian. They struggle to survive.

Although Iraq and Syria should not be deemed a democratic paradise, for a while they were still prosperous and stable. They demonstrated remarkable hospitality to their guests.

However, after US troops occupied Iraq in 2003 that disrupted political conditions in the country. Unrest has continued unabated, while refugees began to flee Arab countries.

After turmoil erupted again in late 2010, European countries, led by the United States, were promoting so-called color revolutions that ignited regime change in Libya and other countries through military means.

Accordingly, Islamist terrorists exploited the situation. Over the last year, a multinational force led by the US has continued to launch air strikes against terrorist organizations, but it has been so ineffective.

Sectarian strife, ethnic conflicts and terrorist threats are all intertwined. Humanitarian catastrophes are growing day-by-day. Therefore, people believe Western hypocritical interference in West Asian and North African regions is to blame.

In recent years, Syria’s neighboring countries have accepted more than four million refugees, which have caused enormous pressures. In Lebanon, there are about 1.5 million refugees, accounting for more than one-third of its population. These countries act in a "flood zone" role.

The war has continued for a long time. People in many Middle East countries are barely surviving. Now, a new round of refugees is flowing into Europe.

Yet, many Middle East countries are doing their best to resolve the crisis. A severe refugee problem in the Middle East has endeared them to the international community’s conscience. People want to stop the madness to break the cycle of Middle East turmoil.

Historically, the Middle East, the cradle of civilization with a glorious history, has made significant contributions to the development of our society. After the Cold War, ideology and culture had become the new topic of superpowers’ rivalries.

The US, as the world’s only superpower, is more interested in a continuous output of its soft power, and implementing democratic reforms in the Middle East.

There do exist some so-called elites who hold illusions of achieving their states’ support by taking American democracy in regardless of their cultural traditions and national circumstances. Nevertheless, the un-acclimatized situation has led to deep-seated conflicts in some countries.

The harsh reality proves that extra-regional countries may help a state deal with regional disputes, but it should not interfere in other countries' internal affairs.

Europe should realize that the present world has gotten smaller with our connections much more intensified. In the face of regional and international hot-spot issues, no country can succeed separately. They must unite to cope with problems.

The refugee crisis also tests the core values of Europe. We expect European countries to extend normal legal channels for refugees to come to Europe, easing restrictions on immigration, family reunification and accessing assistance.

Meanwhile, all parties should focus on building a peaceful, tolerant, self-reliant Middle East. A political solution to the Syrian crisis and restoring stability in the region is fundamental.

The United Nations is making active mediation for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis. The international community should work together to build on that consensus.

All parties should help countries or regions enhance their governance, accelerate economic development and improve people’s livelihoods. That can eradicate the soil for terrorism to spread and settle the refugee crisis, which has plagued Europe and the world for such a long time.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.


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