BEIJING, March 7 -- For a brief moment, Western leaders might have stopped to congratulate themselves for their "accomplishments" in Ukraine.
With their backing, Ukrainian opposition protesters successfully toppled the pro-Russian government, forcing out the president they loathe and dealing a humiliating blow to the Kremlin.
The West might have scored a major victory in this latest round of goepolitical fight. But things turned out otherwise.
Shortly afterwards, Russia struck back. Now, with Russian military personnel deployed in eastern Ukraine to protect Russia's legitimate interests and pro-Russian regions clamoring for a secession from Kiev, Ukraine is teetering on the brink of total chaos and disintegration.
The West's strategy for installing a so-called democratic and pro-Western Ukrainian government did not get anywhere at all. On the contrary, they have created a mess they do not have the capacity or wisdom to clean.
Their ill-fated plan was fundamentally flawed from the very beginning. First of all, they were destined to shoot their own feet when they, under the cliche pretense of supporting democracy, interfered in Ukrainian domestic affairs by engaging in biased mediation.
Second, they underestimated Russia's will to protect its core interests in Ukraine. Russia may no longer be interested in competing for global preeminence with the West, but when it comes to cleaning a mess the West created in the country's backyard, Russian leaders once again proved their credibility and shrewdness in planning and executing effective counter moves.
Last but not least, Western leaders were delusional when they believed they, with dented moral authority and shrinking financial coffers, could still take up such a grand task of nation-building.
Unfortunately, Ukraine and its people have become a big victim in this grueling process.
The Ukrainian people do not get the democracy or prosperity the West promises. Instead, all they can see in their beloved country now is political confusion and economic depression.
The West itself also becomes a loser as the fiasco in Ukraine will surely erode its credibility.
For the rest of the world, once again, people see another great country torn apart because of a clumsy and selfish West that boasts too many lofty ideals but always comes up short of practical solutions.
But the world does not need to be too pessimistic. The game in Ukraine is far from over. The international community still has the opportunity to salvage the country by working together.
Major powers should set their animosity aside and start working for a compromise. The Ukrainians should abandon their political infighting and work to restore law and order in their country as soon as possible.
After all, an independent, complete and stable Ukraine best serves the interests of all, including China.