Photo by Chris Nagahama on Unsplash

No, Neutrality Does Not Mean Taking the Side of the Aggressor

All they’re really saying is “Feel my shame or cheerlead for Ukraine. For God’s sake, pick the right side.”

6 min readMay 15


I’ve been writing about the Ukraine war for over a year now. I’d like to write about other things, but every time I look at the war, I see a wider war. I see a risk of nuclear war. I see the war in Ukraine as a matter of greater importance than just who is right and who is wrong. I see it as a threat to peace all over the world.

I fear that billions will die.

But then I read a story in which a political leader in Europe made a comment typical of the armchair warriors and cheerleaders for Ukraine. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism observed increasing tensions between China and Europe, mostly due to American meddling in European politics:

Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang happened to be in Berlin when news broke of the potential sanctions, which led to the second war-of-words appearance in a month of him and his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock who continues to do her best to damage ties between Berlin and its largest trading partner.

While Qin stressed China’s neutrality and its efforts to formulate a peace plan, [German foreign minisgter Annallee]Baerbock insisted neutrality is not an option. “Neutrality means taking the side of the aggressor,” she told Qin while also labeling China a “systemic rival.” Qin assured his counterpart that Beijing would retaliate if the EU moves forward with its plans to sanction the Chinese companies.

At the suggestion of the White House, Europe is considering sanctions against Chinese companies that do business with Russia. More specifically, the sanctions are to be imposed on any company that sells to Russia, “dual-use goods”, anything that could be used for war or peace. Note the text in bold above.

“Neutrality means taking the side of the aggressor.”

This is a shameful statement. This statement is designed to force people who do not have enough information about a conflict to take a side. And I think in this case it could be the wrong side.