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This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-9-18 12:02|
The Congress of Berlin of 1878, chaired by German Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck, sought to resolve the disputes amongst the Great Powers over the fate of the Balkan States and the Ottoman Empire. In reality, it was an attempt by Germany to whittle down the territorial gains and remove the strategic outposts of an ascendant Russia, under Prime Minister Alexander Gorchakov, right after Russia's victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. The final Treaty of Berlin temporarily achieved a semblance of peace among the contenders for land and power, and outlasted the expectations of its architects, who beiieved a war among the European powers would be coming in 15 years. Instead, the peace lasted 34 years, up to 1912 when the First Balkan War erupted, leading to WWI in 1914.
There is every reason to expect the Syrian Peace to last for only a very short time.
China should expect more turmoil beyond the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. A Russian defeat, if Syria resists, is entirely possible, and with it, the loss of China's own strategic rear. China must remember that after the Great Powers crushed the Ottoman Empire aka "the Sick Man of Europe", they turned their attentions to China, culminating in the humiliating Treaty of Beijing of 1900, in an attempt to finish off the "Sick Man of Asia". Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Better an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure . . .