An uniformed man, believed to be a Russian serviceman, stands guard near a Ukrainian military base outside the city of Sevastopol, March 7, 2014.(REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili)
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As world leaders scramble to shape events in Ukraine, China has stood by unable even to articulate its stance, exposing an inconsistent approach to foreign affairs despite its fast-growing global interests and stature, analysts say.It faces huge pressure to catch up fast, both from other governments and its own increasingly far-flung nationals and companies.Although China aspires to greater global standing, it pursues narrow goals overseas as long as its core concerns are not involved, letting its ally and fellow U.N. Security Council member Russia take the lead on crises such as the conflict in Syria while it zeroes in on business deals.Beijing also vehemently urges "noninterference" in other countries' domestic affairs, in part to facilitate trade with unsavoury regimes – but especially to discourage foreign support for popular uprisings.The events in Ukraine were "very inconvenient" for Beijing, he said.Beijing is starting to recognize the benefits of getting involved, said Jia Qingguo, a professor of international studies at Peking University, citing a debate over whether it might have prevented the bloody 2011 Western-backed uprising in oil supplier Libya by seeking to persuade late dictator Moammar Gadhafi to compromise.But it needed to build up its foreign policy know-how, he added, and was still figuring out its approach to the world as it adjusts to its development from a poor to a powerful nation.
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