China comes into play in the crisis in Ukraine

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China warned the United States on Thursday that resolving the conflict in Ukraine must “respect Russia’s legitimate concerns”, while has called for “calm and containment” to all parties to avoid further tensions. For its part, Washington has urged Beijing to “use its influence” to lower tensions with Moscow.

The Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, has had a telephone conversation with his American counterpart, Antony Blinken, in which he has argued that military “expansion”, referring to NATO, “will not guarantee regional security” at a time of heightened concern over the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine.

Wang has taken the opportunity to criticize once again “the Cold War mentality” of the United States: “In the 21st century there can be no bloc politics”, pointed out the diplomat, who added that “a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism is necessary, which is reached through negotiations”.

“But Russia’s security concerns are reasonable, and they must be taken seriously and resolved,” he stressed.

While Russia evaluates the written responses it has received from the US and NATO to the security guarantees it requires to stop the expansion of the Atlantic Alliance, Beijing has suggested this Thursday to return to the Minsk Agreements: “This agreement was approved by the UN Security Council. It is a document recognized by all parties and must be implemented.”

“China will support all efforts in this direction,” said the Chinese foreign minister.

Meanwhile, Washington continues to prepare for a confrontation scenario, with the delivery of more military material to Kiev and the recommendation of its citizens in Ukraine to leave the country in the face of the potential invasion.

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“Keep calm and refrain from taking actions that will escalate tension,” Wang advised.

A Beijing-Moscow axis, a puzzle for Washington

The statements come just two days after the Russian ambassador to China, Andrey Denisov, stated at a press conference that “there is no need for China and Russia to establish a military alliance,” according to Chinese journalists on Twitter.

Beijing and Moscow agree on their commitment to what they consider “multilateralism” and “the abandonment of mentalities typical of the Cold War”, something that Denisov emphasized by stressing that military alliances such as NATO are “outdated”.

The close ties between the two powers have raised suspicions about the extent to which Beijing would support Moscow in a hypothetical invasion of Ukraine, especially considering that in less than a week the Winter Olympic Games, whom the Russian president, Vladimir Putin has confirmed his attendance.

“If the tensions in Ukraine degenerate into a Russian invasion of that country, Washington would be in trouble. It would force it to divert its attention from China, a country that is the priority of its foreign policy, perhaps for an indefinite time,” explained the Spanish expert. Xulio Ríos, director of the Chinese Policy Observatory.

According to the academic, a further strengthening of the Moscow-Beijing axis could create a “pincer effect” on Washington, “evidencing a greater strategic vulnerability” on its part.

“Beijing and Moscow have been maintaining a close strategic association that seeks to strengthen their respective authoritarian regimes, counterbalance the US presence and expand their corresponding areas of influence. But, now, both could coordinate,” the researcher warned.

China-US relations under scrutiny

On the sidelines, Wang reviewed the state of bilateral relations with Blinken this Thursday, and criticized Washington for “not changing its policies regarding China” after the telematic meeting held in November by Presidents Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

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“The United States must stop forming anti-China cliques. Relations are facing new disturbances two months after that meeting,” he said.

Wang has specified that the priority for China is that Washington “stop interfering” in the Winter Olympics -they will begin in Beijing on February 4-, to which the United States imposed a diplomatic boycott joined by other countries such as Australia or Canada.

Also, the Foreign Minister has urged the US to “stop playing with fire” regarding Taiwan, an island whose sovereignty Beijing claims.

“Biden assured us that the US is not seeking a new cold war, is not seeking to change China’s system, is not seeking to form alliances to oppose China, and does not support Taiwan’s ‘independence’. A different and positive message.” compared to the previous administration. But what the world sees now is that the tone has not matched the facts,” he asserted.

The US urges China to “use its influence” to defuse tension

For its part, the US government has urged China to use its “influence” with Russia to reduce tension over the Ukraine crisis, warning of the “significant” negative effects of a potential conflict on the economy global.

This was indicated in a press conference by the State Department spokesman, Ned Price, commenting on the recent conversation between the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

“It shouldn’t be a surprise that Secretary Blinken brought this up. China has a relationship with Russia that is different from the one we have with Russia and different from the one many countries in the world have with Russia,” Price said.

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For this reason, he stressed that China could “use that influence” in “a way that is constructive” to reduce the risk of confrontation in Ukraine.

“If there is a conflict in Ukraine, it will not be good for China either. There will be a significant impact on the global economy,” said Victoria Nuland, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, in the same meeting with journalists. .



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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