Chinese foreign minister signals support for Russia over Ukraine crisis

In China’s most outspoken comments to date on the growing US confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned Washington and its allies not to “do the crisis hype”. He called on all parties to “stay calm and refrain from doing things that stir up tension.”

Wang made the remarks during a virtual meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last Thursday. The Biden administration and the US media have deliberately manufactured extreme tensions around Ukraine by repeatedly stating that Russia is about to be invaded, a claim that even the Ukrainian president has publicly denied.

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual State of the Nation address in Manezh, Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Wang made clear Beijing’s support for Moscow, saying “Russia’s reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously and resolved.” Russia has repeatedly called on the United States and its European allies to guarantee that Ukraine will not be inducted into NATO – a move that would bring the US-led military alliance to the fore. Russian border.

Referring indirectly to NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Wang told Blinken that European security could not be guaranteed by “strengthening or even expanding military blocks.

China’s opposition to aggressive US actions in Ukraine is tied to concerns over Washington’s warnings of a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan – claims that, like those directed at Russia, were fabricated from You’re welcome. The Biden administration has exploited these unsubstantiated allegations of “Chinese aggression” as a pretext to strengthen ties with Taiwan, violating longstanding US diplomatic protocols on the status of the island.

Wang said the attitude of the United States towards China has not changed significantly since President Biden met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in November. The Chinese foreign minister accused the United States of continuing to make mistakes vis-à-vis China, “causing new shocks to relations between the two countries”. He warned the United States against playing with fire on Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province, and against “interfering” in the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are due to start on Friday .

Later this week, Xi is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is traveling to Beijing to attend the Olympics in part to demonstrate his opposition to a diplomatic boycott of the US-led event. It will be Xi’s first face-to-face meeting with a foreign head of state since March 2020, when he met the Pakistani president.

As tensions rose over Ukraine, Putin and Xi held an online meeting in mid-December in which the Russian president reportedly called Xi a “dear friend” and said relations between the two countries had reached “an unprecedented level”.

Xi called for greater joint efforts to effectively safeguard the security interests of the two countries, as “some international forces” interfere in China and Russia’s internal affairs and “trample international law” under the guise of human rights.

A steady stream of commentary in US and European media speculates on the growing strength of relations between Moscow and Beijing, the consequences of a US-led conflict with Russia and the prospect of China ‘taking advantage’ of the crisis. Ukrainian to invade Taiwan. .

A FinancialTimes Today’s article along these lines is titled “The conflict in Ukraine highlights the deepening of ties between Beijing and Moscow.” His “evidence” of China’s intentions is the rantings of a right-wing Chinese nationalist blogger who declares that the Ukraine crisis “will be a historic opportunity for us to solve the Taiwan problem.”

The flimsiness of the argument reflects the topsy-turvy world of US propaganda in which concocted threats of Russian and Chinese invasions are used to justify US military provocations against the two countries. As the United States and its allies put their troops on high alert and supplied weapons to Ukraine, the United States Navy held a series of major military exercises in the South China Sea and the waters off China. Taiwan.

As the FinancialTimes itself recognized, the Ukrainian crisis of 2014, “severed Russia’s relations with the West and pushed Moscow into the arms of China”. Or to put it more precisely, the rise of American threats and provocations against Russia and China, ultimately aimed at their break-up and subordination, has led the two countries to a quasi-alliance.

China’s support for Russia contrasts with its equivocal response to the 2014 conflict, which was sparked by a US-backed far-right coup in Kyiv that toppled a pro-Russian Ukrainian government. China blamed “Western foreign interference for causing the crisis”, but did not support Russia’s annexation of Crimea or its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

In 2014, China abstained on UN resolutions regarding the Russian annexation of Crimea and still does not recognize Crimea as part of Russian territory. At the same time, while rejecting US and EU sanctions against Russia, China has tacitly allowed Chinese companies, including its huge state-owned banks, to abide by the sanctions, to avoid being cut off from US financial markets and the international banking system.

Since 2014, however, Russia and China have steadily strengthened their diplomatic, economic and strategic relations. According to FinancialTimes, between 2013 and 2021, China’s share of Russia’s foreign trade doubled from 10 to 20 percent. When meeting in December, Xi and Putin noted that bilateral trade in the first three quarters of 2021 exceeded $100 billion for the first time and is expected to hit a new high for the whole year.

Russia and China have strengthened their military ties through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, established in 2001. From January 21, China, Russia and Iran held their third joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman to “strengthen security” and “multilateral cooperation”. This followed naval exercises conducted by Russia and China off the Russian coast in the Far East in October and joint military exercises in northwest China in August, involving some 13,000 troops and hundreds aircraft as well as artillery, anti-aircraft batteries and armored vehicles.

Alexander Korolev, an analyst based at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told the FinancialTimes that more frequent and substantial joint exercises, collaboration on weapons development, regular consultations on military and security issues and long-term exchanges of military personnel would enable the Russian and Chinese armies to operate jointly in real wars in the future.

During his press briefing last Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China and Russia consider their relationship a priority. “There is no ceiling to Sino-Russian mutual trust, no no-go zone in our strategic cooperation and no limit to the scope of our long-standing friendship,” he said.

Zhao Mingwen, a former Chinese diplomat, made a similar remark to FinancialTimes, although Russia and China are not formal allies. “You could say that we are even more allies than allies,” he said. The two countries would support each other in conflicts if they were provoked by outside powers. “If China were forced to unify Taiwan by force and the United States intervened, I don’t think Russia would sit idly by,” Zhao said.

The strengthening of military ties between China and Russia in the face of American threats highlights the complete recklessness of American foreign policy. After pushing China, now the world’s second largest economy, and Russia, with its massive nuclear arsenal, into each other’s arms, the United States is deliberately fueling a conflict over Ukraine. Any war in Ukraine, far from being a local affair, would threaten to quickly escalate into a catastrophic war on a global scale.