Time to put to rest the Cold War mentality

From: People's Daily Online Updated: 2014-03-03 11:04
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When it comes to the chaos in Ukraine, the term “Cold War” keeps cropping up in the western media. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and CNN is currently broadcasting a documentary series revisiting the history of the Cold War. Yet in reality, the antagonism showed by the western media towards Russia during the Ukraine turmoil and the Sochi Olympics seems to remind us that the past remains close.

The reason is not hard to find: some are still using the mindset formed during the Cold War period to view and deal with the world today. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the unipolar international system that it left behind led some from the West to gloat over their “victory”. However, their satisfaction has faded in the light of worries that Ukraine might turn back to the east and create a balance of interest that leaves the West in an unfavorable position. When Ukraine shows signs of leaning to the West, they breathe a sigh of relief for the “European moment”.

The political, economic and security theories that belonged to the Cold War era still dominate many people’s minds nowadays. The concerns some in the West feel for Ukraine show their hostility towards Russia, a legacy carried on from the past. An article published by the Russian newspaper Независимая газета points out that the main reason for the West’s antagonism towards Russia is that the latter refuses to adopt the ideology of the former, and that still provokes anger.

The complexity of current international relations originates from the fact that major powers are undergoing a period of adjustment in the distribution of capabilities in their spheres of influence, and accordingly in the balance of international rules and regulations. The current situation requires nations to update their views of each other, shed perceptions that have been rendered obsolete, and seize opportunities to explore new space for cooperation. The rift between the West and Russia can only be mended gradually by trust accumulated through collaboration on specific issues.

Present needs leave no doubt that only through breaking the shackles of the Cold War mentality can we avoid unnecessary confrontation and look forward to an international relations system that operates more smoothly in the future.

This article is edited and translated from 《冷战思维,该翻篇儿了》, source: People's Daily.

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