China rebuts NATO declaration as ‘defamatory, provocative, belligerent’

The article below, originally published in Global Times, reports on China’s response to the NATO Summit declaration of 9 July 2024, which accused China of being “a decisive enabler of Russia’s war against Ukraine” through the supply of so-called dual-use technology, which the US and its allies claim is critical to Russia’s military efforts.

The accusation marks a significant escalation in the US-led New Cold War – a “major departure for NATO” according to the New York Times. NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg stated: “I think the message sent from NATO from this summit is very strong and very clear, and we are clearly defining China’s responsibility when it comes to enabling Russia’s war”.

The charges against China are of course utterly ridiculous and unfounded. Of all the major countries, China has been most active in pursuit of a peaceful negotiated settlement to the Ukraine crisis. Indeed last year it put forward a comprehensive document outlining the essential steps towards peace. Meanwhile the role of the US and its allies has been to escalate the conflict by arming Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russia, and preventing Kiev from entering into negotiations.

China has not been supplying war materiel to Russia, but has simply maintained normal economic relations – as opposed to joining in with the West’s illegal and unilateral sanctions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian pointed out: “Most countries have not participated in sanctions against Russia or cut off trade with it, so the US cannot blame China for its own actions. The US has passed large-scale aid bills for Ukraine while baselessly accusing China and Russia of normal economic and trade exchanges. This is blatant hypocrisy and double standards.”

The reasons for NATO’s accusations are two-fold. First, Ukraine and its backers are losing on the battlefield, and the well-advertised “counteroffensives” have not had the desired effect. As such, the imperialist powers “need to find an excuse, and the ready-made excuse now is that China is supporting Russia”.

Second, there are ongoing efforts to create a global NATO and expand its area of operations to the Pacific so that it can participate more directly in the campaign of China encirclement. According to Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, “they are attempting to achieve NATO’s globalisation by hyping the so-called ‘China threat’ and inciting challenges against China… The hype and intensification of the China issue serve as a catalyst for NATO to accelerate and strengthen its presence, influence, and actions globally, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The US is the leading protagonist of the New Cold War, and it is using NATO to bring Europe onboard with its anti-China strategy. However, European states have their own interests and only stand to lose by blindly following the US.

China voiced strong opposition and lodged stern representations on Thursday with NATO after the Cold War mentality-driven bloc issued a direct warning to China for the first time regarding the so-called support to Russia in the Ukraine crisis, which, some experts said, is essentially another attempt to shift the blame and smear China. 

The NATO Washington Summit Declaration exaggerates tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, which is filled with Cold War mentality and belligerent rhetoric, containing prejudiced, defamatory, and provocative content regarding China, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said during a press conference on Thursday. 

NATO’s so-called security comes at the expense of others’ security, and much of the security anxiety NATO peddles is of its own making. The so-called success and strength NATO boasts of pose a significant threat to the world, the spokesperson said. 

Establishing imaginary enemies to maintain existence and expand power is NATO’s usual tactic. Its persistence in the erroneous positioning of China as a systemic challenge and smearing of China’s domestic and foreign policies are exactly that, the spokesperson added. 

The Chinese Mission to the EU also refuted NATO’s claims on Thursday, emphasizing that China’s position on Ukraine is open and above board, and it is known to all that China is not the architect of the Ukraine crisis. China aims to promote peace talks and seek political settlement, and this position is endorsed and commended by the broader global community.

Continue reading China rebuts NATO declaration as ‘defamatory, provocative, belligerent’

Xi meets Hungarian prime minister, exchanging views on ties, Ukraine crisis

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban paid a surprise visit to Beijing on July 8 as part of a whirlwind of diplomatic activity aimed at promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine. Hungary assumed the six-monthly rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) on July 1. Orban then visited Ukraine the very next day, his first visit to the country since Russia launched its Special Military Operation. This was followed by a July 5 visit to Russia, as well as to Azerbaijan, where he attended the Informal Summit of the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS). 

Meeting President Xi Jinping, just two months after they had met in the Hungarian capital Budapest and elevated their bilateral relationship to that of an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era, the two leaders exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis.

Orban briefed Xi on his recent visits to Ukraine and Russia. Xi expressed appreciation for Orban’s efforts in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis and elaborated on China’s relevant views and propositions.

Xi called on the international community to create conditions and provide support for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiation between the two sides, saying that only if all major countries inject positive rather than negative energy, can a ceasefire in this conflict emerge as soon as possible, adding that the basic propositions of China and Hungary and the direction of their efforts are the same and that China is willing to stay in communication with Hungary and all relevant parties.

Orban said that over the past two months, the two sides have earnestly implemented the important outcomes of President Xi’s visit to Hungary, strengthened friendship and mutual trust, and laid a solid foundation for the future development of bilateral relations.

In the face of the current turbulent international situation, China not only loves peace but has also put forward a series of constructive and important initiatives, proving with its own concrete actions that it is an important stabilising force for world peace.

He added that Hungary highly appreciates and values China’s role and influence and is willing to maintain close strategic communication and coordination with China.

Far from welcoming Hungary’s efforts for peace, the country has come under intensified imperialist pressure in response. 

The South China Morning Post headline said that Orban’s visits to Moscow and Beijing had “prompt(ed) EU members to seek ways to punish Hungary.” The paper reported:

“At every stop on Orban’s tour, fury has spread like wildfire through the Belgian capital [where the EU is headquartered]. Ambassadors plan to grill Hungary’s representatives in Brussels on Wednesday, a diplomatic source said.

“On Monday, some member states were ‘seriously considering gathering a majority’ to come up with a way to punish Budapest for abusing the terms of the rotating role, a senior EU official said, with the European Commission’s legal service also preparing to give its opinion.”

Two days later, the Financial Times duly reported that the commission’s legal service had concluded that Orban’s  “solo trip to Moscow last week contravened the EU’s treaties.” The Hungarian Prime Minister had, “violated the bloc’s treaties that forbid any ‘measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives’, according to three people familiar with the matter. He also violated a legal provision that calls on all members to perform foreign policy activities ‘unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity’, they added.

“Many EU member states have discussed boycotting the traditional informal ministerial meetings to be held in Hungary during the country’s presidency, several diplomats told the FT. A smaller group of capitals has also begun informal discussions on how to use the EU treaty to restrict Orban’s room for manoeuvre during the presidency. Some EU officials have privately floated stripping Hungary of the rotating presidency, officials said.”

Getting in on the act, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “any leader visiting Russia or China must make NATO’s positions clear that the military alliance is ‘not going anywhere, Ukraine’s not going anywhere, the European Union is not going anywhere’.”

This grotesque display of hegemonic arrogance could scarcely better illustrate the undemocratic nature of the EU, its subservience to Washington, its shameless bullying of its smaller member states, especially those in central, eastern and southern Europe, its use of ‘lawfare’ to suppress dissenting standpoints, its opposition to peace and its increasingly dangerous warmongering against Russia, China and other countries.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban here on Monday, and the two sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis.

Orban briefed Xi on his recent visits to Ukraine and Russia. Xi expressed appreciation for Orban’s efforts in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis and elaborated on China’s relevant views and propositions.

Xi stressed that an early ceasefire and a political settlement are in the interests of all sides, adding that the priority is to cool down the situation by observing the three principles of no expansion of the battlefield, no escalation of fighting, and no fanning by any party over the flames.

Xi called on the international community to create conditions and provide support for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiation between the two sides, saying that only if all major countries inject positive rather than negative energy, can a ceasefire in this conflict emerge as soon as possible.

“China has been actively promoting peace talks in its own way and encouraging and supporting all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis,” he said, adding that the basic propositions of China and Hungary and the direction of their efforts are the same and that China is willing to stay in communication with Hungary and all relevant parties.

Xi noted that during his successful state visit to Hungary two months ago, the bilateral relations were elevated to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era, which gave new historical significance to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year and injected strong impetus into the high-level development of China-Hungary relations.

Noting that the third plenary session of the 20th Communist Party of China Central Committee will be held next week, Xi said China will further deepen overall reform and promote high-quality development and high-level opening up, which will provide new opportunities and create new momentum for China-Hungary cooperation.

Xi said that the two countries should maintain high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, strengthen strategic communication and coordination, continue to firmly support each other, strengthen practical cooperation in various fields, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and continue to enrich the bilateral all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era to better benefit the people.

He congratulated Hungary on assuming the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) and said there is no geopolitical contradiction or fundamental conflict of interests between China and the EU.

China-EU relations are of strategic significance and global influence and should maintain steady and sound development, Xi said, calling on the two sides to jointly respond to global challenges.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU, Xi said, adding that the two sides should stay committed to the correct path of bilateral partnership with cooperation as the defining trend, continue to promote two-way opening up, strengthen international coordination, and contribute to world peace, stability, development and prosperity.

It is hoped that Hungary, as the holder of the rotating EU presidency, will play a positive role in promoting the sound and stable development of China-EU relations and facilitating constructive interactions, Xi added.

Orban said that over the past two months, the two sides have earnestly implemented the important outcomes of President Xi’s visit to Hungary, strengthened friendship and mutual trust, and laid a solid foundation for the future development of bilateral relations.

In the face of the current turbulent international situation, China not only loves peace but has also put forward a series of constructive and important initiatives, proving with its own concrete actions that China is an important stabilizing force for world peace, Orban said.

He added that Hungary highly appreciates and values China’s role and influence and is willing to maintain close strategic communication and coordination with China.

Hungary advocates strengthening cooperation with China and opposes forming exclusionary cliques and bloc confrontation, Orban said.

Hungary is willing to take the rotating EU presidency as an opportunity to actively promote the sound development of EU-China relations, he said.

Celso Amorim: Brazil-China relations have strategic significance

A recent visit to China by Celso Amorim, special advisor to the president of Brazil, marks a significant milestone not only in bilateral relations but also in the collective international diplomacy and independent position of the Global South.

On May 23, Amorim met China’s top foreign affairs official Wang Yi, who said that that China and Brazil are both major developing countries and emerging economies, as well as major members of BRICS, and their relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic and overall significance.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Brazil diplomatic ties, Wang said that the two countries should systematically review their successful experience over the last half century. 

He went on to observe that the world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, adding that it is heartening to see that the Global South countries represented by China and Brazil have achieved a collective rise and promoted a more balanced and reasonable structure of world power. 

China will fully support Brazil’s work as the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, adding that China also attaches importance to promoting cooperation with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and is willing to strengthen coordination with Brazil to push for greater development of relations between China and Latin American countries.

Amorim also said that Brazil-China relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic significance, adding that the sound development of Brazil-China relations is not only beneficial to the two countries, but also plays an important role in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and is conducive to world peace and stability.

He noted that that China is Brazil’s largest market, and the trade volume between the two countries is close to 200 billion US dollars and this still has great potential for further development.

Brazil and China share the same position on many major issues, he continued, and Brazil supports Latin America and China in strengthening cooperation, and is willing to closely coordinate and cooperate with China on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the G20 and BRICS to uphold multilateralism and oppose hegemonism.

Most significantly, the two sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis and jointly issued the “Common Understandings Between China and Brazil on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

In contrast to the one-sided and unrealistic initiatives of the imperialist powers and the present Ukrainian government, China and Brazil believe that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the crisis. All parties should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue and push for the de-escalation of the situation until the realisation of a comprehensive ceasefire. China and Brazil support an international peace conference held at a proper time that is recognised by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation of all parties as well as fair discussion of all peace plans.

They affirm that the use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and chemical and biological weapons, must be opposed. All possible efforts must be made to prevent nuclear proliferation and avoid nuclear crisis. Attacks on nuclear power plants and other peaceful nuclear facilities must be opposed. All parties should comply with international law including the Convention on Nuclear Safety and resolutely prevent man-made nuclear accidents. This last point clearly refers to the repeated, dangerous and irresponsible shelling by Ukrainian armed forces of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), which is presently controlled by the Russian army. 

This six-point declaration is a vivid illustration of the rise of multipolarity and of the fact that the days when a handful of oppressor nations could dictate world affairs to the exclusion of the global majority are over.

The next day, at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s regular press conference, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that more countries are welcome to jointly play a constructive role in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis and promoting talks for peace. These six common understandings reflect not just the joint position of China and Brazil, but also the widespread concern and genuine desire of the vast international community for promoting a political settlement, he added.

“Many developing countries, including China and Brazil, have called for upholding an objective and just position on the Ukraine crisis,” he noted, adding that all of these countries believe that dialogue and negotiation is the only viable way out. The “common understandings”, though jointly initiated by China and Brazil, are meant for the world.

“We welcome more countries, developing and developed countries alike, to support and endorse these common understandings, and jointly play a constructive role in de-escalating the situation and promoting talks for peace.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Top Chinese diplomat meets special advisor to Brazilian president

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) — Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with Celso Amorim, special advisor to the president of Brazil, in Beijing on Thursday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said that China and Brazil are both major developing countries and emerging economies, as well as major members of BRICS, and bilateral relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic and overall significance.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Brazil diplomatic ties, Wang said that the two sides should systematically review the successful experience of the development of bilateral relations in the past 50 years. They should take into account the changes in the international situation and the respective development strategies of both countries while making strategic plans with a forward-looking vision, so as to inject new connotations into China-Brazil relations, set new development goals, and jointly embrace the next “golden 50 years.”

Wang noted that the world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, with the international situation becoming chaotic and intertwined and hotspot issues emerging one after another.

It is heartening to see that the “Global South” countries represented by China and Brazil have achieved a collective rise and promoted a more balanced and reasonable structure of world power, he said.

China will fully support Brazil’s work as the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, and stands ready to work with Brazil and other G20 members to ensure the success of the G20 Rio Summit, said Wang, noting that China attaches importance to promoting cooperation with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and is willing to strengthen coordination with Brazil to push for greater development of relations between China and Latin American countries.

Noting that Brazil-China relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic significance, Amorim said that the sound development of Brazil-China relations is not only beneficial to the two countries, but also plays an important role in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and is conducive to world peace and stability.

Amorim said that Brazil attaches great importance to cooperation with China, adding that China is Brazil’s largest market, and the trade volume between the two countries is close to 200 billion U.S. dollars, which still has great potential for development.

Amorim said that Brazil is ready to communicate closely with China, plan cooperation in various fields, expand the scale of trade and investment, expand new fields such as artificial intelligence and the digital economy, and constantly enrich the connotation of Brazil-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

Noting that Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attaches great importance to poverty eradication, and China has made remarkable achievements in this regard, Amorim said the two sides can strengthen exchanges and cooperation.

Amorim said that Brazil and China share the same position on many major issues. Brazil supports Latin America and China in strengthening cooperation, and is willing to closely coordinate and cooperate with China on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the G20 and BRICS to uphold multilateralism and oppose hegemonism.

The two sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis and jointly issued the “Common Understandings Between China and Brazil on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.” The two sides agreed that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out of the crisis, and all parties should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue.

The two sides also expressed their support for an international peace conference recognized by Russia and Ukraine at an appropriate time, with the equal participation of all parties, and fair discussion of all peace proposals.

Members of the international community are welcome to support and endorse the common understandings, jointly provide a strong voice to cool the situation, and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks, said the document.


Continue reading Celso Amorim: Brazil-China relations have strategic significance

China hosts dialogue between Palestinian factions

As part of its support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people, and to encourage and facilitate unity in the ranks of the Palestinian liberation movement, China hosted talks between Fatah and the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas in Beijing on April 26.

Little news has been published with regards to the talks. However, on the same day, in response to a media question, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, at the ministry’s regular press conference, noted that China supports all Palestinian factions in achieving reconciliation and increasing solidarity through dialogue and consultation.

At the April 30 press conference, spokesperson Lin Jian added:

“At the invitation of the Chinese side, representatives of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) recently came to Beijing to have in-depth and candid dialogue on promoting Palestinian reconciliation. The two sides fully expressed their political will of realising reconciliation through dialogue and consultation, had discussions on many specific issues, and made encouraging progress. They agreed to continue this dialogue process so as to achieve Palestinian solidarity and unity at an early date. They highly appreciated China’s firm support for the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, thanked the Chinese side for its efforts to help strengthen Palestinian internal unity, and reached agreement on ideas for future dialogue.”

Also on April 26, China’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a written interview to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera Media Network.

Wang stated that the protracted conflict in Gaza has become a humanitarian catastrophe that should not have happened, adding that it has gone far beyond the bottom line of modern civilisation. The overriding priority is to realise a ceasefire as soon as possible:

“Even one more day of delay would mean further violation of human conscience and more erosion of the cornerstone of justice.”

Regarding the UN Security Council calling for a ceasefire, he noted that “the resolution is legally binding, and should be enforced effectively to achieve an unconditional and lasting ceasefire right away.”

The foreign minister went on to say that unimpeded humanitarian assistance must be ensured at all times, describing this as a “pressing moral obligation.” China has firmly opposed forced transfer of Palestinian civilians and collective punishment against people in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict and continuously provided humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

The historical injustice done to the Palestinian people must be redressed in a timely fashion, he said, adding that this is the right way to address the root cause of the conflict in Gaza. The Gaza calamity shows once again that the perpetual denial of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people is the root cause of the Palestinian question, and it is also the core issue of the Middle East question. 

In a highly significant passage, he added:

“China will continue to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with Middle East countries and the whole international community to firmly support the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights; firmly support internal reconciliation among different factions of Palestine through dialogue; firmly support Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations at an early date; and firmly support establishing the independent State of Palestine and realising ‘the Palestinians governing Palestine.’ (Emphasis in Foreign Ministry original.)

Wang Yi also addressed a number of other major international issues.

Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, he again said that it is imperative to address both symptoms and root causes. Alluding to the steady encroachment of US-led NATO on Russia, he said: “To uproot the crisis, we must dive deeper into the question of security. Pursuing unilateral or absolute security by willfully compressing the security space of others will inevitably tip the balance of power in the region and give rise to conflicts.”

On Taiwan, he reiterated China’s long-standing and consistent position that: “We will strive for peaceful reunification with the utmost effort and greatest sincerity. In the meantime, our bottom line is also clear: we will absolutely not allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China in any way.”

He went on to note that “some countries are giving ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist elements more and more weapons behind the scenes, in stark contrast to their calls for peace and stability of the Strait. These moves will only increase the risk of conflict and confrontation, and seriously undermine peace and stability in the Strait and the region as a whole. China will not sit on its hands [in the face of] external disruptions… As President Xi Jinping has stressed, complete reunification of our motherland is the shared aspiration of the people, the trend of the times and a historical inevitability, and no force can stop it. China will ultimately achieve complete reunification, and Taiwan is bound to return to the embrace of the motherland.”

Turning to prospects for relations between China and the United States, he said that despite the agreements reached between the two heads of state at their meeting in San Francisco last November, “the United States still sticks to its misperception of China and presses ahead with its misguided policy to contain China. It has recently continued to woo its so-called allies in an attempt to provoke tensions at sea in the region and build networks to contain China at a faster pace. It has kept ratcheting up its unilateral sanctions and gone all out to constrain China’s development of science and technology. The United States should not view the world through the lens of Cold War and zero-sum mentality, and it should not say one thing but do another. The people of the world have clear eyes, and even more so for the Middle East people who can see easily who is on the right side of history and justice.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Continue reading China hosts dialogue between Palestinian factions

Zhang Jun: We must actively advocate the equitable and orderly multi-polarisation of the world

The following is the full text of the remarks by Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council briefing on Ukraine held on February 23, 2024. 

Noting that the Ukraine crisis is a “tragedy that could have been avoided”, Zhang sets out four points.

First, he says that efforts should remain focused on a political settlement. “The most pressing priority of the hour is to stop hostilities, launch peace talks, and restore peace. Peace is in the interest of all parties. The sooner peace talks begin, the less the damage that is done. Any action that is conducive to peace and greater trust, however small it may seem, is worth our genuine effort as long as there is a glimmer of hope. We call upon the parties concerned to show a sense of responsibility and make constructive diplomatic efforts to promote deescalation and detente. It is favourable conditions for the resumption of negotiations that they should be creating, not man-made obstacles to make peace harder to achieve, much less to supply weapons, stoke the fire and pour oil on it, and to profit from the prolonged crisis.”

Second is to stay the course towards common security. “We must respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and never lose sight of the fact that security is indivisible, that one country’s security cannot be achieved at the expense of other countries’ security, and that regional security cannot be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding a military bloc. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly. It must be pointed out that the situation Europe is facing today is closely related to the repeated eastward expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War. We encourage NATO to do some soul-searching, come out of the cage of Cold War mentality, and refrain from acting as an agent of trouble instigating bloc confrontation. We urge the head of NATO to look at the world through an objective lens, stop saber-rattling, and do things that are genuinely conducive to world peace.”

Third, “the spillover effects of the crisis must be proactively managed. The world is in enough turmoil. It cannot afford to be hit by more crises that are bigger than what we already have. Attempting to solve problems by creating more problems does not work. Certain countries, using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext, have indiscriminately imposed unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction and exerted unjustified pressure on the businesses of other countries, which has adversely impacted the global industrial and supply chains and disrupted the order of global trade… China firmly opposes the unlawful sanctions imposed on Chinese companies by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union using the Ukraine issue as an excuse.”

Fourth, “we must actively advocate the equitable and orderly multi-polarisation of the world. The Cold War ended over 30 years ago… Humanity is a community with a shared future. All countries, large and small, are equal members of the global community when it comes to international relations and are entitled to a place in the international arena… For the world to slide back to the colonial age is not an option.”

In conclusion, Zhang notes that: “China played no part in the creation of the Ukraine crisis, nor is China a party to the crisis itself. We have not been watching the fire from across the river, much less cashing in on the crisis. On the question of Ukraine, China has always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported.”

Shortly after these remarks were delivered China announced that its Special Envoy Li Hui would begin another round of shuttle peace diplomacy, with scheduled stops including Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, France, and the headquarters of the European Union (EU) in Brussels.

The following article originally appeared on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Madam President, 

I thank Secretary-General Guterres for his earlier briefing. 

The ongoing Ukraine crisis is threatening to become a protracted, compounded, and wider one. This tragedy that could have been avoided has become what it is today. This is most distressing and worthy of deep reflection. The international community should pull together in search of a just and sensible solution to settle the crisis politically and let peace prevail as soon as possible.

First, efforts should remain focused on a political settlement. The Ukraine crisis has caused incalculable damage. The most pressing priority of the hour is to stop hostilities, launch peace talks, and restore peace. Peace is in the interest of all parties. The sooner peace talks begin, the less the damage that is done. Any action that is conducive to peace and greater trust, however small it may seem, is worth our genuine effort as long as there is a glimmer of hope. We call upon the parties concerned to show a sense of responsibility and make constructive diplomatic efforts to promote deescalation and detente. It is favorable conditions for the resumption of negotiations that they should be creating, not man-made obstacles to make peace harder to achieve, much less to supply weapons, stoke the fire and pour oil on it, and to profit from the prolonged crisis. We look forward to greater efforts by the UN to promote peace talks and alleviate the humanitarian situation.

Second, we must stay the course towards common security. In the face of complexities and challenges, we must be firmly committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. We must respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and never lose sight of the fact that security is indivisible, that one country’s security cannot be achieved at the expense of other countries’ security, and that regional security cannot be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding a military bloc. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly. It must be pointed out that the situation Europe is facing today is closely related to the repeated eastward expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War. We encourage NATO to do some soul-searching, come out of the cage of Cold War mentality, and refrain from acting as an agent of trouble instigating bloc confrontation. We urge the head of NATO to look at the world through an objective lens, stop saber-rattling, and do things that are genuinely conducive to world peace.

Third, the spillover effects of the crisis must be proactively managed. The world is in enough turmoil. It cannot afford to be hit by more crises that are bigger than what we already have. Attempting to solve problems by creating more problems does not work. Certain countries, using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext, have indiscriminately imposed unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction and exerted unjustified pressure on the businesses of other countries, which has adversely impacted the global industrial and supply chains and disrupted the order of global trade. The world economy is interdependent, and it is wrong to instrumentalize or weaponize the world economy. China firmly opposes the unlawful sanctions imposed on Chinese companies by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union using the Ukraine issue as an excuse. China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and citizens.

Fourth, we must actively advocate the equitable and orderly multi-polarization of the world. The Cold War ended over 30 years ago. Since then, the international landscape has undergone profound adjustments and the multi-polarization of the world has picked up pace. This is the trend of the times and the tide of history. Humanity is a community with a shared future. All countries, large and small, are equal members of the global community when it comes to international relations and are entitled to a place in the international arena. All countries should jointly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, adhere to the universally accepted basic norms governing international relations, and practice true multilateralism together without selective application or double standards. For the world to slide back to the colonial age is not an option. International affairs should not be monopolized by a minority of countries. Trying to obstruct other countries’ progress through hegemony and bullying is not right, and it would not work. On the other hand, major countries have a special responsibility for world peace and security, and must conduct their relations responsibly and manage their differences properly in pursuit of win-win cooperation.

Madam President,

China played no part in the creation of the Ukraine crisis, nor is China a party to the crisis itself. We have not been watching the fire from across the river, much less cashing in on the crisis. On the question of Ukraine, China has always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. China will continue to play a constructive role and make unremitting efforts towards a political settlement of the Ukraine issue.

Thank you, Madam President.

Vladimir Putin: US exceptionalism is an extension of the colonial mindset

In this edition of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, Wang Guan travels to Moscow to interview Vladimir Putin, shortly before the Russian President left for Beijing to attend the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. 

President Putin notes that, in building their relations, Russia and China have “always tried to reach a compromise, even on complicated issues inherited from the old days. Our relations have always been driven by goodwill. It helped us solve the border delimitation issues that had remained outstanding for 40 years.”

Wang Guan gives his impression of the thriving economic relations between the two countries, saying that on this visit to Moscow, he “saw that the streets and stores, including online trading platforms, were increasingly filled with Chinese brands. At the same time, Russian gas is supplied to the homes of Chinese consumers and Russian meat and dairy products, for example, are becoming more and more common in Chinese stores.”

President Putin agrees that his country and China are well on the way to meeting their joint target for two-way trade to reach 200 billion US dollars by 2024.

Turning to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Russian leader commented that: “Yes, we see that some people consider it an attempt by the People’s Republic of China to put someone under its thumb, but we see otherwise, we just see desire for cooperation. Our own ideas on the development of the Eurasian Economic Union, for example, on the construction of a Greater Eurasia, fully coincide with the Chinese ideas proposed within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Thanks to the BRI, the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) have already secured $24 billion dollars’ worth of investments, Putin says, and continues:

“It seems to me that the main advantage of the concept of cooperation proposed by the Chinese side is that nobody imposes anything on anybody in the framework of this work. Everything is done within the framework of finding not only acceptable solutions, but such projects and such ways of achieving a common goal that are acceptable to all. This is what makes China today, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, unique in building relations with others: no one imposes anything on anyone; no one forces anything on anyone, but only gives them opportunity. And, as I said, if there are difficulties, compromises are sought and always found. In my view, this is what distinguishes the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the Chinese President from many others that countries with a heavy colonial legacy are trying to implement in the world.”

Reflecting his well-known interest, President Putin refers several times to sports, especially the martial arts and ice hockey, and to his hope to increase cooperation with China in this field, and, citing the importance of sports in his own life, states:

“Everyone knows and it’s not a secret that I come from a simple working-class family, and in the past, I had a lot of time to spend in the yard. I don’t know how my life would have turned out if I hadn’t taken an interest in sports. It doesn’t really matter what kind of sports I did, it’s important that I paid a lot of attention to it.”

Following up on what he said recently at the annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, President Putin excoriated the Western verbiage about a “rules-based order”:

“Have you ever seen those rules? No, you haven’t, because no one has agreed on them with anyone. So how can one talk about order based on rules that no one has ever seen? In terms of common sense, it’s nonsense. But it is beneficial to those who promote this approach. Because if no one has seen the rules, it only means that those who talk about them are making them up themselves from time to time to their own advantage. That is the colonial approach.

“Because colonial countries have always believed that they are first-rated people. After all, they have always talked about bringing enlightenment to their colonies, that they are civilized people who bring the benefits of civilization to other nations, whom they consider second-rate people. No surprise today’s political elite, say, in the United States, talks about its exceptionalism. This is the extension of this colonial mindset, meaning that when they consider themselves exceptional in the United States, it means that other people, all the people in fact, are just some second-rate people. How else could one understand it? Those are mere vestiges of colonial thinking, nothing else.

“Our approach is quite different. We proceed from the fact that all people are equal, all people have the same rights; the rights and freedoms of one country and one nation end where the rights and freedoms of another person, of an entire state, appear. This is the way in which a multipolar world should be evolving gradually. This is exactly what we are striving for, and this is the basis of our interaction with China on the international stage.”

He also speaks about the BRICS cooperation mechanism and its recent expansion from five to 11 members, saying that “all those who have joined BRICS support the idea and concept of forming a multipolar world. No one wants to play second fiddle to some sovereign, everyone wants equal rights. And when they join BRICS, they see that we can achieve this goal by joining efforts within the framework of expansion and strengthening of such a format.”

President Putin also discusses the conflict in Ukraine and the Chinese proposal for a political solution:

“We are thankful to our Chinese friends for trying to think about ways to end this crisis. However, I would like to remind you that hostilities in Ukraine did not start with our special military operation, but way before – in 2014, when the Western countries, after having volunteered as guarantors of the agreements between President Yanukovich and the opposition, forgot about those guarantees in a matter of days and – worse still – supported a coup d’état. United States Administration officials even acknowledged spending big money on it…

“Therefore, the start of the special military operation was not the start of a war, but an attempt to end it.”

Referring to the negotiations held in the Turkish city of Istanbul, shortly after the start of the special military operation, Putin notes that agreement was almost reached, however, “as soon as we pulled our troops back from the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the Ukrainian side committed all the arrangements to flames.” Therefore:

“Of course, we know the proposals of our Chinese friends. We highly value those proposals. I think they are absolutely realistic and could lay the foundation for peace arrangements. But, unfortunately, the opposing side does not want to enter into any negotiations. In fact, the President of Ukraine has even issued a decree prohibiting everyone – including himself – to conduct any negotiations with us. How can we conduct negotiations if they are not willing to and even issued a regulation prohibiting such negotiations?”

Asked if there is any possibility to make progress based on the Chinese standpoint of building shared, common, and indivisible security, Putin says:

“Yes, we have always said that, too… In this context, it is extremely important for us that Ukraine stays outside any blocs. We were told as far back as 1991 – by the then US Administration – that NATO would not expand further east. Since then, there have been five waves of NATO expansion, and every time we expressed our concerns. Every time we were told: yes, we promised you not to expand NATO eastwards, but those were verbal promises – is there any paper with our signature on it? No paper? Good-bye.

“You see, it is very difficult to engage in a dialogue with people like that. I have already cited the example of the Iranian nuclear programme. The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme were very, very lengthy. An agreement was reached, a compromise found, and documents signed. Then came a new Administration and threw everything in the trash, as if those arrangements never existed. How can we agree on anything if every new Administration starts from scratch – begin each time from the centre of the playing field?”

The CGTN interview with President Putin is embedded below. We also reproduce the full text of the interview as published by the Russian President’s website. The quotations above are taken from the latter version.

Continue reading Vladimir Putin: US exceptionalism is an extension of the colonial mindset

The West’s blueprint for goading China was laid out in Ukraine

The following article by Jonathan Cook (first published by Middle East Eye) explores the complex and contradictory policies of the Western powers in relation to China. On the one hand, Western leaders talk of wanting a collaborative relationship with China, and on this basis “US and European officials have scurried to Beijing for so-called talks”, including a high-profile visit by British foreign secretary James Cleverly in August. On the other hand, these same leaders are taking reckless steps towards confrontation: “showering Taiwan with weapons systems”; setting up AUKUS; forging a trilateral security arrangement between the US, Japan and South Korea; and developing new military bases in the Pacific as part of an ongoing strategy of encirclement. NATO last year declared Beijing a challenge to its “interests, security and values.”

Jonathan writes that “European leaders are torn. They fear losing access to Chinese goods and markets, plunging their economies deeper into recession after a cost-of-living crisis precipitated by the Ukraine war. But most are even more afraid of angering Washington, which is determined to isolate and contain China.”

The manifestation of these contradictory motivations is a policy of aggression combined with the pretence of a meaningful desire for peaceful engagement. “But the only real engagement is the crafting of a military noose around China’s neck, just as a noose was crafted earlier for Russia.” And the crafting of this military noose is justified to ordinary people in the West – who will inevitably shoulder the economic costs of the deteriorating relationship – with an absurd but carefully-curated narrative about protecting Taiwan. This “obscures Washington’s less palatable aim: to enforce US global dominance by smashing any economic or technological threat from China and Russia.”

The West is writing a script about its relations with China as stuffed full of misdirection as an Agatha Christie novel.

In recent months, US and European officials have scurried to Beijing for so-called talks, as if the year were 1972 and Richard Nixon were in the White House.

But there will be no dramatic, era-defining US-China pact this time. If relations are to change, it will be decisively for the worse.

The West’s two-faced policy towards China was starkly illustrated last week by the visit to Beijing of Britain’s foreign secretary, James Cleverly – the first by a senior UK official for five years.

While Cleverly talked vaguely afterwards about the importance of not “disengaging” from China and avoiding “mistrust and errors”, the British parliament did its best to undermine his message. 

The foreign affairs committee issued a report on UK policy in the Indo-Pacific that provocatively described the Chinese leadership as “a threat to the UK and its interests”. 

In terminology that broke with past diplomacy, the committee referred to Taiwan – a breakaway island that Beijing insists must one day be “reunified” with China – as an “independent country”. Only 13 states recognise Taiwan’s independence.

The committee urged the British government to pressure its Nato allies into imposing sanctions on China.

The UK parliament is meddling recklessly in a far-off zone of confrontation with the potential for incendiary escalation against a nuclear power, a situation unrivalled outside of Ukraine

But Britain is far from alone. Last year, for the first time, Nato moved well out of its supposed sphere of influence – the North Atlantic – to declare Beijing a challenge to its “interests, security and values”.

There can be little doubt that Washington is the moving force behind this escalation against China, a state posing no obvious military threat to the West.

Continue reading The West’s blueprint for goading China was laid out in Ukraine

Why did Biden snub China’s Ukraine peace plan?

This insightful article by Medea Benjamin, Marcy Winograd and Wei Yu, published in CODEPINK on 3 March 2023, analyzes the Biden administration’s kneejerk negative reaction to China’s recent position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Biden, Blinken, Austin and Stoltenberg have all rubbished China’s credentials as a peacemaker, pointing to the fact that China has not condemned Russia, and accusing China of planning to provide Russia with military support. The authors make the important point that “it is the US, not China, that is fueling the conflict with at least $45 billion dollars in ammunition, drones, tanks and rockets in a proxy war that risks – with one miscalculation – turning the world to ash in a nuclear holocaust.” Furthermore “it is the US, not China, that has provoked this crisis by encouraging Ukraine to join NATO, a hostile military alliance that targets Russia in mock nuclear strikes, and by backing a 2014 coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych.”

China’s peace proposal calls for a negotiated peace; it calls for abandoning a Cold War mentality; it calls for an end to unilateral sanctions; and it states that “the legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly.” Unfortunately the US cannot accept any of this. The US seeks precisely to keep the war going in order to further its Cold War agenda of weakening Russia and consolidating US hegemony over Europe. This is the real reason the Biden administration is so quick to dismiss China’s proposals.

It is a great shame for the people of Ukraine that peace is not on the US’s agenda. What’s more, as the authors point out, cooperation between the US and China on this question might also “pave the way for cooperation with China on all kinds of other issues – from medicine to education to climate – that would benefit the entire globe.”

There’s something irrational about President Biden’s knee-jerk dismissal of China’s 12-point peace proposal titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

“Not rational” is how Biden described the plan that calls for de-escalation toward a ceasefire, respect for national sovereignty, establishment of humanitarian corridors and resumption of peace talks.

“Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” reads the plan. “All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported.”

Biden turned thumbs down.

“I’ve seen nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia if the Chinese plan were followed,” Biden told the press.

In a brutal conflict that has left thousands of dead Ukrainian civilians, hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers, eight million Ukrainians displaced from their homes, contamination of land, air and water, increased greenhouse gasses and disruption of the global food supply, China’s call for de-escalation would surely benefit someone in Ukraine.

Other points in China’s plan, which is really more a set of principles rather than a detailed proposal, call for protection for prisoners of war, cessation of attacks on civilians, safeguards for nuclear power plants and facilitation of grain exports.

“The idea that China is going to be negotiating the outcome of a war that’s a totally unjust war for Ukraine is just not rational,” said Biden.

Instead of engaging China–a country of 1.5 billion people, the world’s largest exporter, the owner of a trillion dollars in US debt and an industrial giant–in negotiating an end to the crisis in Ukraine, the Biden administration prefers to wag its finger and bark at China, warning it not to arm Russia in the conflict.

Psychologists might call this finger-wagging projection–the old pot calling the kettle black routine. It is the US, not China, that is fueling the conflict with at least $45 billion dollars in ammunition, drones, tanks and rockets in a proxy war that risks–with one miscalculation–turning the world to ash in a nuclear holocaust.

It is the US, not China, that has provoked this crisis by encouraging Ukraine to join NATO, a hostile military alliance that targets Russia in mock nuclear strikes, and by backing a 2014 coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych, thus triggering a civil war between Ukrainian nationalists and ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, regions Russia has more recently annexed.

Biden’s sour attitude toward the Chinese peace framework hardly comes as a surprise. After all, even former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett candidly acknowledged in a five-hour interview on YouTube that it was the West that last March blocked a near-peace deal he had mediated between Ukraine and Russia.

Why did the US block a peace deal? Why won’t President Biden provide a serious response to the Chinese peace plan, let alone engage the Chinese at a negotiating table?

President Biden and his coterie of neo-conservatives, among them Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, have no interest in peace if it means the US concedes hegemonic power to a multi-polar world untethered from the all-mighty dollar.

What may have gotten Biden unnerved—besides the possibility that China might emerge the hero in this bloody saga—is China’s call for the lifting of unilateral sanctions. The US imposes unilateral sanctions on officials and companies from Russia, China and Iran. It imposes sanctions on whole countries, too, like Cuba, where a cruel 60-year embargo, plus assignment to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, made it difficult for Cuba to obtain syringes to administer its own vaccines during the COVID pandemic. Oh, and let’s not forget Syria, where after an earthquake killed tens of thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless, the country struggles to receive medicine and blankets due to US sanctions that discourage humanitarian aid workers from operating inside Syria.

Despite China’s insistence it is not considering weapons shipments to Russia, Reuters reports the Biden administration is taking the pulse of G-7 countries to see if they would approve new sanctions against China if that country provides Russia with military support.

The idea that China could play a positive role was also dismissed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said, “China doesn’t have much credibility because they have not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

Ditto from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told ABC’s Good Morning America, “China has been trying to have it both ways: It’s on the one hand trying to present itself publicly as neutral and seeking peace, while at the same time it is talking up Russia’s false narrative about the war.”

False narrative or different perspective?

In August of 2022, China’s ambassador to Moscow charged that the United States was the “main instigator”of the Ukraine war, provoking Russia with NATO expansion to Russia’s borders.

This is not an uncommon perspective and is one shared by economist Jeffrey Sachs who, in a February 25, 2023 video directed at thousands of anti-war protesters in Berlin, said the war in Ukraine did not start a year ago, but nine years ago when the US backed the coup that overthrew Yanukovych after he preferred Russia’s loan terms to the European Union’s offer.

Shortly after China released its peace framework, the Kremlin responded cautiously, lauding the Chinese effort to help but adding that the details “need to be painstakingly analyzed taking into account the interests of all the different sides.” As for Ukraine, President Zelinsky hopes to meet soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping to explore China’s peace proposal and dissuade China from supplying weapons to Russia.

The peace proposal garnered more positive response from countries neighboring the warring states. Putin’s ally in Belarus, leader Alexander Lukashenko, said his country “fully supports” the Beijing plan. Kazakhstan approved of China’s peace framework in a statement describing it as “worthy of support.” Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán–who wants his country to stay out of the war– also showed support for the proposal.

China’s call for a peaceful solution stands in stark contrast to US warmongering this past year, when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a former Raytheon board member, said the US aims to weaken Russia, presumably for regime change–a strategy that failed miserably in Afghanistan where a near 20-year US occupation left the country broke and starving.

China’s support for de-escalation is consistent with its long-standing opposition to US/NATO expansion, now extending into the Pacific with hundreds of US bases encircling China, including a new base in Guam to house 5,000 marines. From China’s perspective, US militarism jeopardizes the peaceful reunification of the People’s Republic of China with its break-away province of Taiwan. For China, Taiwan is unfinished business, left over from the civil war 70 years ago.

In provocations reminiscent of US meddling in Ukraine, a hawkish Congress last year approved $10 billion in weapons and military training for Taiwan, while House leader Nancy Pelosi flew to Taipei – over protests from her constituents–to whip up tension in a move that brought US-China climate cooperation to a halt.

A US willingness to work with China on a peace plan for Ukraine might not only help stop the daily loss of lives in Ukraine and prevent a nuclear confrontation, but also pave the way for cooperation with China on all kinds of other issues–from medicine to education to climate–that would benefit the entire globe.

Blinken attacks China for seeking peace in Ukraine

In this insightful article for Fighting Words, Chris Fry summarizes the latest efforts by the Biden administration to slander – and escalate tensions with – China.

The article starts by describing Antony Blinken’s recent accusations that China is sending – or “contemplating sending” – military assistance to Russia. Chris notes the twisted irony of this accusation, given that “the US has supplied more than $100 billion in military aid to Ukraine so far, with more on the way,” and given that the US government is quite clearly implementing a strategy directed not at bringing about peace or saving Ukrainian lives, but at defeating and weakening the Russian Federation and expanding NATO’s hegemony in Europe.

It is presumably not a coincidence that this accusation is being amplified at a time when China has put forward an important position paper on the Ukraine conflict, calling for the abandoning of Cold War mentality, a resumption of peace talks, and an end to illegal sanctions. China’s peace proposals – grounded firmly in international law and consistent with the principles of the UN Charter – are resonating with governments throughout the world, particularly in the Global South. Therefore the US is doing what it can to tarnish China’s reputation as a responsible power.

Chris also highlights the US’s increasingly desperate attempts to stoke tensions in relation to Taiwan Province. With the anti-independence Kuomintang having scored an important victory in Taiwan’s local elections last year – and having good prospects in next year’s presidential elections – the US is fast-tracking its provocations, which “seek to provoke a justified but costly Chinese military attack on Taiwan and thus ‘justify’ a US war against China.”

China’s response to such provocations has been measured and proportional; as such the US strategy is failing. Nonetheless, notes the author, “progressives and anti-war activists must prepare now to muster their forces.”

Unable to intimidate the leadership of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) over its balloon being shot down by U.S. Air Force jets along with three other balloons in a missile-firing frenzy, President Biden, through his war hawk Secretary of State Antony Blinken, is now accusing China of “contemplating sending lethal aid” to the Russian Federation.

Speaking to “Meet the Press” on February 9 after meeting with Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi in Munich, Blinken arrogantly attacked China for its relations with the Russian Federation while it maintains strict neutrality in the conflict:

“Publicly, they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine,” he said … “But privately, as I said, we’ve seen already over these past months the provision of nonlethal assistance that does go directly to aiding and abetting Russia’s war effort.”

Continue reading Blinken attacks China for seeking peace in Ukraine

China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis

On February 23, with the first anniversary of Russia’s launch of its Special Military Operation in Ukraine, China issued a 12-point document, setting out its official position on the conflict.

The 12 points are:

  1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries
  2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality
  3. Ceasing hostilities
  4. Resuming peace talks
  5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis
  6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs)
  7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe
  8. Reducing strategic risks
  9. Facilitating grain exports
  10. Stopping unilateral sanctions
  11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable
  12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction

Regarding the first point concerning respect for the sovereignty of all countries, the Chinese Foreign Ministry calls for strict observance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. It stresses that: “The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community.” Significantly, considering the long and continuing record of the imperialist powers in failing to observe and flagrantly breaching these principles, it adds, in a point that has been expressed in one way or another by numerous countries of the Global South, that: “Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected.”

On the need to abandon the Cold War mentality, the document states: “The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly.” This underscores that part of the complex background to the present tragic situation lies in the steady expansion of the aggressive NATO alliance right to the borders of Russia, in breach of repeated promises made to Soviet and Russian leaders at the time of the collapse of the USSR. It also alludes to the proposed accession of hitherto ostensibly neutral Finland and Sweden to NATO. It continues by calling for the forging of a “a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture,” and working together for peace and stability on the Eurasian continent. Such proposals, in one form or another, have been advanced over the years by a number of countries, including France and Russia. They are, of course, bitterly opposed by the United States, as the prospect of the countries and peoples of Europe and the wider Eurasian space making their own arrangements and settling their own problems would correspondingly reduce the superpower’s capacity for hegemonic meddling, division and domination.

The document calls for resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, noting that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the crisis. It should be noted here that such negotiations between Russia and Ukraine had resulted in at least the broad outlines of an agreed settlement as far back as last April, but this was scuppered by outside intervention, not least a hurried visit to the Ukrainian capital by then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Since then the peace process has been aborted and the conflict has escalated, thanks to massive infusions of western military support, making the proxy nature of the conflict completely transparent.

China reaffirms that it opposes armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities. Ukrainian forces have repeatedly shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and obstructed international inspectors. It further notes that: “Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought. The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed.” This not only reflects the fact that China is the only one of the five recognised nuclear powers that has consistently and unequivocally stood for a ‘no first use’ policy, but also the fact that the quoted statement embodies an agreed position taken by the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France not long before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also insists that: “Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems…Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ against other countries.” Unilateral sanctions are a kind of ‘smokeless warfare’ deployed by the United States against any country that displeases it or fails to dance to its tune. In a clearly well-prepared operation, they have been deployed against Russia, to a maximum and still escalating extent, since the start of the special military operation. Equally, the US uses ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ on an industrial scale, against adversaries and allies alike, as this recent detailed presentation published by the Xinhua News Agency makes clear.

Below is the full text of the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement. It originally appeared on the ministry’s website.

1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries. Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, must be strictly observed. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. All parties should jointly uphold the basic norms governing international relations and defend international fairness and justice. Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected. 

2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality. The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others. The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. All parties should, following the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and bearing in mind the long-term peace and stability of the world, help forge a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture. All parties should oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent.

Continue reading China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis

Roger Waters refutes US war propaganda in CNN interview and World Beyond War webinar

As co-founder of the band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters occupies an iconic place in the history of British rock music. He is also a progressive political activist, who does not hesitate to take a stand on anti-imperialist issues. The following article, originally carried on the World Socialist Web Site, reviews Waters’ recent interview on CNN and his participation in a webinar hosted by World Beyond War. Waters exposes US and NATO culpability for the conflict in Ukraine and also speaks about China, asserting that “Taiwan is part of China” and that, “the Chinese didn’t invade Iraq and kill a million people in 2003.”

On Saturday and Monday, English-born musician-composer and activist Roger Waters denounced the role of the US government in the war between Russia and Ukraine and discussed other contemporary political issues in two public appearances.

Waters, currently on a 38-date concert tour in North America entitled “This is Not a Drill,” appeared on Saturday morning in a short interview on CNN with Michael Smerconish and was featured in a 90-minute webinar on Monday hosted by World Beyond War.

The appearances are noteworthy—and newsworthy—because the US media in general is as tightly censored and as submissive to the authorities as that existing under many authoritarian regimes. Opposition to the US-NATO war with Russia and/or the campaign to demonize China is simply not encountered on American television or in the pages of the daily newspapers.

In the course of the CNN interview, Waters took the opportunity to explain why, during his concerts, he includes President Joe Biden as a “war criminal” who is “just getting started” on a list along with every other US president since Ronald Reagan.

In reviewing the facts that prompted the characterization of Biden, Waters showed that Smerconish—who presents himself on his weekly CNN program and in other journalistic pursuits as a “balanced” commentator—is merely another mouthpiece for US propaganda.

Continue reading Roger Waters refutes US war propaganda in CNN interview and World Beyond War webinar

China, Ukraine and the Belt and Road Initiative

On Saturday May 21st, Friends of Socialist China joined the Belt and Road Initiative Quarterly (BRIQ) journal, the Russian Cultural House in Ankara, the Turkish Students Union in China and the Istanbul Kent University as a co-organizer of a conference themed on ‘The Challenges and Opportunities for BRI Under the Background of the Ukraine Crisis’. It was a hybrid event, held both online and physically at Kent University.

Our co-editors Danny Haiphong and Keith Bennett both presented papers and we reproduce them, slightly edited for publication, below. The other speakers were Adnan Akfirat, Chair of the BRIQ journal; Professor Hasret Comak of Istanbul Kent University; Professor Ma Xiaolin of Zhejiang University; Daria Platonova of Moscow State University; Rajiv Ranjan, Associate Professor at Shanghai University; Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain; Dr Vali Kaleji of Tehran University; and Dr. Ahmet Shahidov, Chair of the Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights.

The full event can be viewed on Facebook Live.

Danny Haiphong: Why the Belt and Road Initiative won’t be derailed by the Ukraine crisis

Thank you to all the organizers of this event, including the Belt and Road Initiative Quarterly Journal, the Russian Cultural House in Ankara, the Friends of Socialist China platform which I co-edit, the Turkish Student’s Union, and Kent University. My discussion centers on the politics of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and how they ensure that the development plan won’t be derailed by the monumental crisis underway in Ukraine.

The Ukraine crisis has revealed quite starkly that there is a huge divergence between the path that’s being taken by the United States, NATO, the EU, and that of China. The former, perhaps more aptly called the Western imperialist sphere, has poured gasoline onto the fire that is the Ukraine crisis. The consequences have been enormous. Sanctions on Russia have sent shockwaves throughout the global economy. Economic growth has declined and inflation skyrocketed. The IMF’s economic forecast is dimmer now than it was prior to the Ukraine crisis and much of this is due to Western imperialist policy.

On the other hand, for China and the BRI, the situation is quite different. A commitment to peace and neutrality, cooperation, and robust and quality growth characterizes the partnerships within the BRI. It is clear that the massive trade and infrastructure project is not a prisoner of the moment. The BRI is not just about a single region or a particular country but rather an overall vision for global development that seeks to harness the present to brighten the future. The BRI does what Western-led economies such as the United States and its allies cannot and will not do, which is to offer opportunities for economic progress and true investment in all areas social and economic development.

The BRI, as Xi Jinping remarked, began in China but its achievements belong to the world. There are 140 countries and 30 international organizations that have already signed on to the BRI since 2013. Thus far, 8 trillion USD in trade and investment has been directed toward the BRI to cover the cost of more than 2,500 projects worldwide. The size and scope of the BRI demonstrates that it is not dependent upon the whims and the interests of the U.S. and the West. The BRI operates almost entirely independent of from Western imperialism, with the exception of the European countries which have accepted China’s invitation to join the project.

It is also worth noting that China is no stranger to operating in conflict zones. The world has been engaged in a war against the COVID-19 pandemic over the past several years and yet China has not only been able to extend solidarity and cooperation over this period but also advance the aims of the BRI. China has adjusted its own economic and political development in a way that takes into account the challenges of the global pandemic. That’s why China has achieved so much success in containing the pandemic and led the way in providing critical solidarity in the form of vaccines and protective equipment to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The pandemic has been a flashpoint for a people’s war to protect human life and this war is inextricably linked to the BRI’s overall vision.

China has also prioritized Belt and Road Initiative relationships with countries such as Pakistan that have been embattled with external and internal conflict. Pakistan has been subject to numerous conflicts over the past decade alone, whether in the form of the U.S.’s drone strikes killing thousands of civilians or the ongoing struggle in Kashmir. While these sensitive issues have inevitably caused economic difficulty, Pakistan and China’s cooperation in the BRI through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has only grown. The BRI has already brought about significant achievements in Pakistan such as the launch of the first transit system in Lahore in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

No matter what is happening internally in Pakistan, the BRI’s vision of development which emphasizes win-win cooperation rather than political interference or influencing the politics internally of any one country has been a major reason as to why these two nations have been able to build such a strong friendship despite internal and external threats to Pakistan’s stability. This includes a recent change in political administration just in the last few months.

The Biden administration recently completed his first trip to Asia, visiting South Korea and Japan in an attempt to organize the Southeast Asia into a conflict with China. The region has quickly become the most important flashpoint in the U.S.’s New Cold War and has been flooded with hundreds of U.S. military bases and hundreds of thousands of U.S. military personnel. Still, China has been able to build even stronger relations with the region that have led to remarkable achievements in the last few years alone. In 2021, the Sino-Laos high-speed railway was launched and is projected to increase economic growth for Laos by several percentage points. Laos is a country that was bombed by the U.S. more times than the entire number dropped in World War II during the U.S. invasion of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s.

In January 2022, Syria joined the BRI as a major step in its own rebuilding process from the U.S.-led war on the country. The U.S. currently occupies 30 percent of Syria’s territory. Despite being engaged in a deadly conflict that has displaced millions and killed more than 300,000 people, the Syrian government is committed to rebuild the country through the BRI.

Of course, the Ukraine crisis has indeed inflicted damage on the global economy. Mainstream media reports have emphasized disruptions in rail traffic that have slowed global trade to Europe. While these short-term challenges will delay certain aspects of the BRI, particularly the Eurasia rail link, the vision of the BRI is more than a century long and remains an incredibly attractive project for development. The Ukraine crisis does not take away from the BRI’s global advantages. In fact, the Ukraine crisis is likely to make the BRI even more attractive to countries around the world, including Ukraine.

For one, the United States and its allies offer few alternatives in the form of financial and economic arrangements to help rebuild from conflict and war. Furthermore, the United States and the West is pursuing a policy that will make the Ukraine’s economy “scream,” to paraphrase Henry Kissinger’s description of Chile in 1970s during the U.S.-backed coup there. The U.S. has provided predatory loans to Ukraine since the war began. In addition, the U.S.-sponsored lend-lease program has provided Ukraine billions in military aid, $40 billion of which was just passed in the U.S. Congress. Ukraine will be expected to pay back what it has received in conditional aid, making these arrangements detrimental to Ukraine’s long-term economic stability and growth.

The neoliberal policies of the U.S. and the West are laying the foundations for the BRI to become an even more important feature of Ukraine’s economic future. Ukraine is one of the earliest member of the BRI. China’s capacity to maintain a stable relationship with Ukraine and strengthen the Russia-China partnership at the same time has demonstrated what it means to place narrow and selfish interests to the background and the interests of humanity in the foreground. Whatever short term difficulties arise from the Ukraine crisis will not derail Latin America, Africa, and Central Asia’s desire to adhere to the BRI’s principles of creating a win-win model of infrastructure and economic development that addresses the need for real South-South cooperation, decreases extreme poverty, and reduces dependency on external lenders.

The BRI is already doing just that. The World Bank has acknowledged that the BRI offers a path forward out of extreme poverty. Monumental achievements have already come out of the BRI in countries such as Pakistan and Laos. Though the Ukraine crisis is a warning shot about the dangers of war and the neoliberal path led by Western imperialism, China’s approach to global development as manifested in the BRI will not just remain consistent but is also likely to strengthen its influence within the international order in the coming period.


Keith Bennett: China, Ukraine and the Belt and Road Initiative

Thank you for your invitation.

I would like to offer some brief comments on four of the topics you raise, namely:

  • The effect of the Ukraine crisis on the use of national currencies in foreign trade
  • The consequences of US and EU sanctions on the BRI
  • The impact of the crisis on the international pro-USA terrorist network
  • The impact of the crisis on the energy security of the EU and China

With regard to the first issue, namely the effect of the Ukraine crisis on the use of national currencies in foreign trade, I believe it is likely to have a profound impact. Developing countries, especially Russia and China, but also others, such as the other members of the Eurasian Economic Union, some African countries, the ALBA grouping led by Venezuela and Cuba, and so on, have been exploring this for some time. But this will now intensify. As will the development of digital currencies by countries like China.

The major sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus will undoubtedly cause considerable difficulties in the short to medium term.

However, strategically they are an example of what the Chinese leader Mao Zedong called, lifting a rock only to drop it on your own feet.

In fact, they really announce the end of dollar hegemony. Measures like excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system were prefigured, for example, in the sanctions imposed on Iran. But this is the first time that such measures have been taken against a G20 economy, a member of the Permanent Five on the United Nations Security Council and a major nuclear power.

We know that China is looking very closely at the implications of this for its own economic and financial security.

We’ve also seen the imperialist powers freezing the assets of so-called Russian oligarchs. Literally stealing them. Incidentally, one should note that the likes of Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov and Oleg Deripaska are always described with the pejorative term oligarch, whereas the likes of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates are described as entrepreneurs. However, the combined wealth of the last named three equals the combined wealth of all of Russia’s top 20 ‘oligarchs’ – that is before the recent assault on their wealth.

Such actions are again in a sense nothing new. We’ve seen them in numerous cases recently, like Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iran and so on. Even as far back as the Albanian gold illegally held by the Bank of England from 1948-1996, a full half century.

But again, this is unprecedented in its scope – being against a major power and not just against its national institutions, but also against numerous individuals, some of them apparently designated solely as a result of citizenship or even just ethnicity.

The implications of this are huge.

If you are a citizen of any country of the Global South – be it Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, India, Pakistan, or wherever – how secure should you now feel about investing, depositing funds, or acquiring assets in the United States or the United Kingdom? When, should your government do anything to displease Washington or London, they can be frozen or confiscated overnight, apparently on a whim and with little or no regard for the so-called ‘rule of law’.

Yet it is partnerships such as these that financial centres like the City of London, on which the UK economy is disproportionately dependent, are increasingly reliant upon. It will therefore lead to the relative decline of long-established financial centres in the UK and elsewhere and impel the growth and development of new ones, along the Belt and Road, including in countries like Turkiye and Kazakhstan, as well as in the Far East, including in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Regarding the consequences of US and EU sanctions on the BRI, I think it will have a contradictory impact. On the one hand, part of the dynamic of the BRI was to draw to draw together the whole of the Eurasian space through increased trade, enhanced connectivity, developed infrastructure and so on. Clearly the EU is to a large measure and for now excluding itself from a number of these aspects, which is absolutely not a situation that China wishes to see. However, the unity of the EU in this aggressive policy is not so solid as is being suggested. Countries with energy supplies that have pivoted on Russia, those with traditionally strong economic or cultural ties, or who preserve some measure of independence and neutrality in their politics and diplomacy are already restive. This can only increase as the economic pain that Europe has brought on itself increases. There are already signs that Berlin, Paris and Rome do not share London and Washington’s apparent appetite for endless war.

However, there are other challenges, too. In general terms, conflict is simply not conducive to investment and development. Trade, transport, logistics, communications and connectivity are disrupted, not only by the fighting itself, but also by ruptured political relations, sanctions, such as on overflights, and so on. And the threat or use of secondary sanctions is also a very serious one.

But, whilst serious, many of these issues are essentially transient in nature. The potential of this conflict to reconfigure the international balance of forces lends greater urgency to BRI and to enhancing the unity of the Global South, something that is reflected, for example, in their almost unanimous rejection of sanctions on Russia.

Regarding the impact of the crisis on the international pro-USA terrorist network, again I think the impact will be contradictory. Terrorist networks instigated or manipulated by the imperialist powers may ultimately serve one goal, but they take different forms.

If Russia is successful in attaining its military objectives, then the anti-hegemonic front will be strengthened and it will be in a more advantageous position to confront and defeat terrorist forces.

However, the resilience of such forces should not be underestimated. For example, the leadership of the Taliban has repeatedly expressed a wish to have good neighbourly relations with China and other countries. But it seems hard for them to fully enforce this, including on some of their rank and file and regional commanders. Hence, there have been border incidents with Pakistan and Iran, the Pakistan Taliban has increased its activities and the central Taliban authorities are not yet in a position to completely suppress groups like the East Turkistan Independence Movement (ETIM) or  Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-K), the local franchise of Daesh, which has emerged as the Taliban’s rival.

In the case of Ukraine, we know that neo-nazi and far right elements are flocking there from throughout Europe and North America. In the future, some of them will definitely pose a threat to their own societies. This is exactly what we saw with Afghanistan from the 1980s onwards and with Syria and Libya more recently. This is precisely what the American political scientist Chalmers Johnson termed blowback.

Finally, regarding the impact of the crisis on the energy security of the EU and China. In a word the impact is likely to be negative for the EU and positive for China. That the results are not what the EU intended can already be seen from the spiraling costs of energy, Russia’s increased earnings from energy exports and the strengthening of the ruble. At present, Germany has wasted billions on the now mothballed Gazprom 2 project. Meanwhile, countries like Hungary, are already indicating their willingness to pay their energy bills in rubles.

Further, in seeking to find alternative energy sources, it is not all plain sailing for the EU. Most of Qatar’s natural gas production is tied up in existing, long-term contracts, principally with the Far East. Saudi Arabia, at least for now, is sticking to its OPEC+ agreements and refusing to increase production. And it is indicating a willingness to price its oil exports to China in RMB, the so-called petroyuan. Both France and Spain have issues with Algeria – France due to the colonial legacy and Spain due to its acquiescence to Moroccan demands concerning the liberation struggle of the Saharawi people led by the Polisario Front.

In the case of China, close energy ties with Russia have been developing for some time now, for example through Gazprom’s Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline, part of a deal generally valued at $400 billion.

Whilst there are obvious, and not insignificant, obstacles to be overcome, China is essentially well positioned to absorb whatever Russian energy that the EU elects not to purchase.

China can also be expected to increase its interaction with other regional energy suppliers that are not impacted by potential maritime chokeholds. Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar and, with enhanced BRI connectivity, Iran and Iraq, are all important in this regard.

Qin Gang: The Ukraine crisis and its aftermath

China’s Ambassador to the US, Qin Gang, is making persistent efforts to explain to the American public his country’s real position regarding the conflict in Ukraine and to counter disinformation. Below is his article, published on April 18 by The National Interest, a leading US conservative bimonthly International Relations magazine, founded in 1985.

Ambassador Qin notes that: “To end this unwanted conflict as soon as possible is more important than anything else.” He notes that Europe is the focus of the current crisis and the continent needs not only an end to the fighting but also a fundamental answer to the question of securing lasting peace and stability and a balanced and effective security architecture.

Qin Gang contrasts the eastward expansion of NATO, which contributed in no small measure to today’s tragic situation, with the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which framework China has amicably settled all its historic border disputes with Russia and the countries of Central Asia, both of which may be traced to 1996, and notes: “Different choices lead to different outcomes.”

The Ukraine crisis is agonizing. One more minute the conflict lasts means one more hardship for the 43 million Ukrainian people. To end this unwanted conflict as soon as possible is more important than everything else.

China loves peace and opposes war. It advocates upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations and respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine. China supports all efforts that can deliver a ceasefire and relieve the humanitarian crisis on the ground, and will continue to play a constructive role toward this end.

Lessons must be learned. While working to end this conflict, we must also give some serious thought to the changes brought by the crisis and the path forward in its aftermath.

The postwar international system is coming under the heaviest pressure since the Cold War. The once-in-a-century pandemic, the Ukraine crisis and the unparalleled sanctions, the spiraling inflation and a looming recession, all these have sounded the alarm for the “boiler” of the international system. It is high time for us to reduce the pressure, not the other way round, for our shared world.

Continue reading Qin Gang: The Ukraine crisis and its aftermath

Fact sheet: China’s position on the situation in Ukraine

We are pleased to present the following fact sheet about China’s position on the situation in Ukraine, sent to us by the International Department of the Communist Party of China.

The fact sheet debunks the US State Department’s allegations and insinuations that China is fomenting or taking sides in the Ukraine crisis. China consistently works toward peace and stands for negotiated solutions to problems between countries. Furthermore, as the largest trading partner of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, China’s basic interests demand peace.

China has refused to support the US-led unilateral sanctions against Russia, on the basis that these sanctions are illegal and only serve to increase tensions and prolong the conflict. Meanwhile they are having a serious economic impact on countries around the world, particularly in the Global South, where the rise in prices for food and energy is seriously impacting wellbeing.

The fact sheet points out: “An enduring solution would be for major countries to respect each other, reject the Cold War mentality, refrain from bloc confrontation, and build step by step a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture for the region and for the world. China has been doing its best for peace and will continue to play a constructive role.”

China votes against Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council

We publish here the text of the statement made by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Emergency Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly, held on April 7th, where the Russian Federation’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council was suspended. In explaining his country’s negative vote, Ambassador Zhang reiterated China’s respect for international humanitarian law and called on all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to protect civilians, especially women, children and other vulnerable groups. Noting that dialogue and negotiation are the only way out, he further noted that the people of the world, especially of the developing countries, are paying a price, for example in soaring food and oil prices, although they are not parties to the conflict.

Consistent with US pressure, the resolution was passed with 93 votes. However 24 countries (including all the socialist countries) voted against, 58 abstained and 18 did not participate in the vote. As only negative votes were counted in this way, the resolution was deemed to have passed with the required two thirds majority. It is, however, a noteworthy fact that a small majority of UN members actually failed to vote in favour of the resolution.

Mr. President,

On the Ukraine issue, China always believes that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, should be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. Putting an early end to the fight is the urgent expectation of the international community. It is also what China is striving for. China supports all initiatives and measures that will help ease the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We call on the parties concerned to respect international humanitarian law, and take concrete actions to ensure the safety of civilians, and protect the basic rights and humanitarian needs of women, children and other vulnerable groups. The reports and images of civilian deaths in Bucha are disturbing. The relevant circumstances and specific causes of the incident must be verified and established. Any accusations should be based on facts. Before the full picture is clear, all sides should exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations.

Continue reading China votes against Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council

Russia-Ukraine conflict highlights racist double standard in the West

In this hard-hitting piece, originally carried on China’s People’s Daily Online, Wu Chaolan exposes the racist double standards inherent in the West’s attitude to conflict in Ukraine compared to those in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has garnered widespread attention across the globe. The wall-to-wall coverage and outpouring of reactions to the Russia-Ukraine conflict from the West has raised eyebrows at its double standard toward other humanitarian crises, which has unsheathed flagrant racist and biased attitudes toward the value of non-white lives that also matter.

CBS News senior correspondent in Kyiv Charlie D’Agata, for instance, has faced a widespread backlash due to his discriminatory comments on the Ukraine crisis: “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades. This is a relatively civilized, relatively European – I have to choose those words carefully, too – city where you wouldn’t expect that, or hope that it’s going to happen,” he said.

The seasoned correspondent was forced to apologize later, saying he spoke “in a way I regret.” However, his remarks are not part of an isolated incident. Ukraine’s former deputy general prosecutor David Sakvarelidze spoke to the BBC, suggesting that it is harder for him to watch white people fleeing the conflict.

Continue reading Russia-Ukraine conflict highlights racist double standard in the West

Wang Wenbin: NATO serves no other purpose than war

Speaking at the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s press conference on March 25, 2022, Spokesperson Wang Wenbin commented on NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia (which was launched 23 years ago) and NATO’s record as an aggressive alliance and product of Cold War.

On March 24 1999, US-led NATO forces blatantly bypassed the UN Security Council and began the 78-day incessant bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a sovereign country, in grave violation of relevant international conventions and basic norms governing international relations. In 12,000 strikes, over 10,000 tonnes of explosives were dropped and more than 3,000 missiles fired, targeting everything from medical facilities to ancient cultural relics, residential buildings and schools. Thousands of innocent civilians including three Chinese journalists were killed. During the bombing campaign, NATO even used depleted uranium bombs prohibited by international conventions, causing long-term damage to Serbia’s environment and people’s health. The people of Serbia will not forget NATO’s aggression, nor will the people of China and the rest of the world.

NATO is convening a summit on Ukraine on the 23rd anniversary of its bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I wonder if the US and other NATO members have asked themselves: What is the root cause of the Ukraine crisis? What responsibility should the US and NATO assume? Before reflecting on their crimes against the people in countries like Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the US and NATO have neither right nor authority to judge others. Born out of the Cold War, NATO serves no other purpose than war. It has never contributed to peace and security of our world and will never do so. All those who truly love peace and are committed to advancing peace will resolutely reject NATO’s continued expansion. 

NATO, not China, is to blame for the Ukraine crisis

This combative opinion piece from Global Times addresses the recent comment by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg effectively labelling China as an accomplice in Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. The article recalls NATO’s history of aggression – belying the alliance’s claims to a ‘defensive’ character – and draws the logical conclusion that “this obsolete military organization … should have been dismantled long ago.”

The Ukraine crisis was largely triggered by NATO’s aggressive eastward expansion. The bloc is the culprit. Instead of reflecting on itself, NATO piles pressure on other countries to stand with it against Russia. This is unreasonable and quite sinister.

“China should join the rest of the world in condemning strongly the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday, “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law so we call on [China] to clearly condemn the invasion and of course not support Russia. And we are closely monitoring any signs of support from China to Russia.”

NATO is a puppet of the US, a Cold War military bloc manipulated by the US. The obsolete military organization has launched many ruthless military aggressions and triggered corresponding disasters in which local people underwent great suffering. NATO’s aerial bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 during the Kosovo War is one example. 

Continue reading NATO, not China, is to blame for the Ukraine crisis

Ambassador Qin Gang: Where China stands regarding Ukraine

In this important article, originally published as an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, Qin Gang, China’s Ambassador to the US and one of his country’s most skilled and experienced diplomats, sets out Beijing’s principled position on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine for the American public and refutes a number of misconceptions being spread in that regard. Most importantly, he makes it crystal clear that:

Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China. There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine. China is the biggest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, and the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.

Many Americans are understandably trying to understand where China stands as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, so I want to take this opportunity to explain fully and dispel any misunderstandings and rumors.

There have been claims that China had prior knowledge of Russia’s military action and demanded Russia delay it until the Winter Olympics concluded. Recent rumors further claimed that Russia was seeking military assistance from China. Let me say this responsibly: Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China. There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine. China is the biggest trading partner of both Russia and Ukraine, and the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. Conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it.

Continue reading Ambassador Qin Gang: Where China stands regarding Ukraine

Ben Norton, Danny Haiphong and Carlos Martinez discuss China-Latin America relations

In this stream recorded on 10 March 2022, Ben Norton, Danny Haiphong and Carlos Martinez discuss a number of issues: the evolving relationship between China and Latin America; the motivation for our forthcoming event 21st Century Socialism: China and Latin America on the Frontline; the connection between multipolarity and socialism; the unfolding crisis in Ukraine; and Russia’s role in an increasingly multipolar world.