China is wisely refraining from taking Russia’s side in the Georgia – South Ossetia – Russia conflict. Unlike Russia, China realizes that supporting a separatist faction on foreign soil would provide fodder for their own domestic separatist factions. If push comes to shove, China will be acting against Russia.
I wonder, does the Russian government know what it did to itself? If and when the next Chechnya shows up, Russia will have a real hard time justifying why other nations shouldn’t intervene in favor of the separatists. They’ll probably see how lackluster their justifications for suppressing the separatists will be, the same way the United States has been utterly unconvincing as it chastises Russia for invading a foreign nation.