Lukashenko’s became a pariah regime after the Ryanair flight incident. Beijing is coming to the rescue.
by Massimo Introvigne
Nobody in the world is defending the Belarusian regime after it hijacked a Ryanair jet en route from Athens to Vilnius and compelled it to make an emergency landing in Minsk, where police arrested a Belarusian dissident, Roman Protasevich, and his fiancé. Nobody, except China.
Summarizing Chinese Party-owned media, the international propaganda daily of the CCP, the Global Times emerged as the only newspaper outside Belarus to take seriously the version that “after reports of a bomb threat on board the aircraft the Belarusian government sent a jet fighter to protect the landing.” That there was no bomb threat from Hamas, that it would have made much more sense to land in Vilnius, Lithuania, rather than going back to Minsk, and that the story was created by Belarus to arrest Protasevich is dismissed by the CCP as a Western “conspiracy theory.” Unfortunately for the CCP, Hamas itself has declared the story bogus.
The Global Times is technically not an official organ of the CCP but is published “under the auspices” of the CCP’s mouthpiece People’s Daily and is considered a very faithful expression of the Party’s views.
“There are many reports in the Western media, the CCP-connected daily continued, but the information that guides the reports does not come from authoritative organizations. Most of them are statements and accusations from the Belarusian opposition.”
“What is the truth?” ask the Chinese. Many accuse the Belarusian government, but these accusations, according to the CCP, are “in the realm of public opinion, not the confirmation of international institutions.” The CCP believes that, “The Belarusian local authorities boarded the plane after landing to search for the bomb and re-conducted security checks. The Belarusian law enforcement investigators have opened a criminal case into the fake bomb threat.”
Beijing is also persuaded that Belarus is “a country with an opposition and running multi-party elections.” As a consequence, the CCP says, “There is no logic to why Belarus should have embarked on such a sensational and aggressive action to arrest Protasevich, one that is destined to draw heavy pressure from the West.”
Perhaps, continues the CCP, “the request to land in Belarus was made voluntarily by the air crew” and “the Belarusian government had been asked to help a civilian airliner with anti-terrorism measures, and then incidentally arrested those whom they consider a criminal suspect.”
The CCP asks “the international community” to “give Belarus the right to defend itself,” commenting that “Western public opinion has a very strong ability to set the agenda and often classifies an incident at the beginning of its occurrence without an authoritative investigation.”
Not coincidentally, on May 25 China and Russia met for “strategic consultations” in Moscow, and called Belarus a “a close partner” of both countries.