Global Times
March 18, 2022

China-Russia relations the most important strategic asset that cannot be damaged by US provocation

The close relationship between China and Russia has been a thorn in the US’ side, especially against the backdrop of the ongoing Ukraine crisis. With the simmering of the situation, it couldn’t be any clearer that Washington is eager to exploit the Russia-Ukraine conflict to drive a wedge between Beijing and Moscow.

For one thing, senior White House officials have on multiple occasions accused China of not exerting enough pressure on Russia to stop the country’s military action in Ukraine. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Thursday before US President Joe Biden’s virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that Washington will “impose costs” for any support Beijing provides to Russia’s actions against Ukraine. He urged Beijing to assume “responsibility to use its influence and defend the international rules and principles that it professes to support.” For another, an increasing number of Western media reports and analyses have emerged to hype how China’s ties with Russia have made China “uncomfortable” and “awkward” and warn that Beijing risks isolation if it doesn’t distance itself from Moscow.

NATO’s eastward expansion is the root cause of Russia’s anger and military operation in Ukraine. It’s the US that should put out the fire it lit in Ukraine. Ridiculously, it is demanding Beijing to do this job at the cost of damaging China-Russia relations. This is unreasonable and insidious. By pushing China to denounce Russia and asking China to bear the responsibility for the fatal strategic mistake the US and NATO made in the construction of so-called European security, Washington has no intention of hiding its desire to sow discord between China and Russia.

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday that China could use its unique relationship to bring an end to Russia’s actions against Ukraine. What nonsense. Russia is an independent major power and China has no ability to exert influence on Russia’s decision on the Ukraine issue which it deems as a “life-and-death” matter.

If China really pressures Russia in a way that is inconsistent with the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, it will only undermine the China-Russia relationship and sabotage mutual trust, which will be a huge strategic loss to both sides. This is what the US is eager and happy to see.

Washington knows that China cannot influence Russia or force it to do anything. But it has regarded the Ukraine crisis as a good chance to tear the two countries apart. The more discord Washington could sow between China and Russia, the more it will be in line with US interests. But how can Beijing and Moscow allow such an evil trick to succeed?

Not like the petty followers that Washington can manipulate at will, China and Russia are both independent great powers. Besides, China has maintained a consistent position over the Ukraine issue, emphasizing all sides’ security concerns and interests should be respected and upheld. Its position is out of its own interests and the interests of the region. It will never dance to the tune of the US or sacrifice relations with Russia to satisfy US demands.

It also should be noted that no matter how the Ukraine crisis evolves and how heavily Russia is targeted by the US now, Washington still views China as its biggest strategic competitor. China should bear this in mind all the time. It must not give the US any chance to drive a wedge in the China-Russia relationship.

For a long time, the West has misinterpreted the China-Russia relationship, believing it’s based on expediency and could be easily torn apart. The truth is, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has withstood the test of the time and is rock solid. It’s China’s most important and stable diplomatic strategic asset that cannot be damaged.

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Global Times
March 18, 2022

Exclusive: China never accepts US coercion on Ukraine, will take strong countermeasures if interests of Chinese companies, individuals violated

An anonymous official told the Global Times that at the request of the US, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden will hold a phone call to exchange views on China-US relations and the Ukraine situation; out of considerations of bilateral relations, promoting peace talks and urging the US to take right stance, China accepted the proposal.

Not surprisingly, before the phone talk, some US officials have intensively made irresponsible remarks and spread disinformation to smear China and pressure it over the Ukraine issue. Such deeds have become “common practices” of the US before high-level interactions, which are irresponsible and immoral, said the official.

China will never accept US threats and coercion, and if the US takes measures that harm China’s legitimate interests and the interests of Chinese enterprises and individuals, China will not sit idly by and will make a strong response, the official stressed, noting the US should not have any illusions or miscalculations about this.

Since the Ukraine crisis began, given the right and wrongs of the facts, China has made an independent judgment and constructive efforts. China has insisted on independent diplomatic policies, respected the sovereignty and integrity of every country, abided by the UN Charter and principles, paid attention to the security concerns of all countries, and supported all efforts that facilitate handling the crisis peacefully, said the official.

The international community can fairly judge who is frank and open and who is up to something, who is easing the situation and who is aggravating tension, who is promoting peace talks and who is pouring fuel on the fire, and who is maintaining peace and stability and who is provoking confrontations between blocs, the official said.

As the initiator and directly concerned party of the Ukraine crisis, the US should reflect on its own role, earnestly assume its historical responsibility and take concrete actions to resolve the crisis and win the trust of the international community, the official said.

Who is on the right side of history and who is on the wrong side of history will be proved by history, not decided by individual countries or individuals, the official said.

The official said that China will continue to urge the US to fulfill President Biden’s commitment of not seeking a new Cold War, not seeking changes in China’s system, not seeking a stronger alliance against China, not supporting “Taiwan secessionism” and not seeking conflict with China.

China urges the US to follow the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, work with China to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state and bring bilateral relations back to the right track of sound and stable development at an early date, the official said.

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Global Times
March 17, 2022

Absurd and nonsense to smear China in Russia-Ukraine conflict
Zhao Long

Russia and Ukraine have had four rounds of talks since conflicts broke out, including one between the foreign ministers. China adheres to the principle of promoting peace and talks, and hopes the international community will create the necessary environment for negotiations. But contradictory smears against China have been fabricated by Western politicians, think tanks and media sources.

The West is trying to pass responsibility to China, accusing it of not stopping Russia before its military operations and not condemning or sanctioning Russia afterward. China appealed for abandoning Cold War mentality before Russia took action. China also called for effective and sustainable security mechanisms in Europe through negotiations, and for respecting and solving Russia’s concerns. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has expressed its stances under the framework of the UN Charter. It is nonsense to criticize China for dodging its responsibilities. 

What’s absurd is that a minority of countries attempt to define what the so-called responsibilities are. They try to include unilateral sanctions on Russia within the Western umbrella of “political correctness.” They try to make military support to Ukraine the only standard to judge whether a country is responsible or not.

The top priority for now is to avoid escalating the situation. A good environment should be created for the sides involved to keep negotiating and find a solution that meets different sides’ reasonable demands. 

The West claims that China knew Russia’s plans before the actual military moves. This disinformation is a conspiracy theory that aims to scapegoat China while suggesting that it is cooperating with Russia to destroy the post-WWII world order. This is in line with some countries’ strategic design to contain both China and Russia. 

The Ukraine crisis took place amid complicated political realities, history and ethnic factors. China-Russia friendly cooperation doesn’t aim at any third party and the two countries don’t interfere in each other’s domestic affairs. It is easy to reach absurd conclusions if one views China-Russia strategic coordination under the Cold War framework, regardless of the two countries’ independence and autonomy. 

The West wrongfully says China fears the consequences of supporting Russia and will thus review its policy – “there is no limit to the friendship, no forbidden zone to the cooperation and no ceiling to the mutual trust between China and Russia.” They say so to drive a wedge between China and Russia to bring the conflict into the countries’ political, business, academic and public opinion spheres. However, China-Russia relations have withstood such attempts to sow discord. The Trump administration tried to rope Russia against China, but its failure proved similar attempts are not feasible.  

Relevant countries should ask: Why can’t they change the obsession of identifying winners and losers of the Cold War? Why can’t they coordinate the West’s security norm with Russia’s? Does NATO have reason to exist anymore? Why isn’t there a balanced, effective and sustainable security framework in Europe? Why haven’t a super long list of sanctions on Russia prevented the situation from worsening? Does isolating Russia benefit Europe’s security? 

Some believe China will benefit from the Ukraine crisis because the US will slow down its military deployment toward the Indo-Pacific and the establishment of alliances there for containment. Meanwhile, some think China can take advantage of the global capital’s nature to avoid risks for economic gain. This is the mentality of zero-sum game. China’s development has never been based on other countries’ turmoil or trouble. No country can detach itself from the rest of the world – the countries are interdependent with a shared future. Therefore, all countries should focus on preventing the Ukraine crisis from impacting the world order, multilateral mechanisms and global governance, rather than conducting selfish calculations based on hegemonic logic. 

The accusations against China during the Ukraine crisis are not aimed at solving the problem but at causing more trouble. This won’t be the mainstream in the international community. This won’t undermine China’s determination to play a constructive role in promoting peace and consensus.

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Xinhua News Agency
March 17, 2022

U.S. strategically provokes Russia, neutralizes Europe to consolidate influence zones: expert

Provoking Russia and neutralizing Europe are the “two pillars” of the U.S. strategy in Europe in a bid to consolidate U.S. spheres of influence, which has partly resulted in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a Portuguese expert has said.

The United States “seeks to consolidate zones of influence at all costs, which guarantees trade facilities for its companies and access to raw materials,” sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos said in a recent article in the Portuguese newspaper Publico.

The conflict in Ukraine “was being prepared for a long time” not only by Russia but also by the United States, he said in the article titled “Towards a self-criticism of Europe”.

In the case of Europe, he argued, “the U.S. strategy has two pillars: provoking Russia and neutralizing Europe.”

The author cited a report produced by the RAND Corporation in 2019 at the request of the Pentagon, which analyzed “nonviolent measures that could stress Russia’s military or economy or the regime’s political standing at home and abroad.” These measures, said the report, “would lead Russia to compete in domains or regions where the United States has a competitive advantage, causing Russia to overextend itself militarily or economically or causing the regime to lose domestic and/or international prestige and influence.”

The expansion of NATO to Eastern Europe against what had been agreed with the Russian government in 1990 was the “initial key piece of the provocation,” the sociologist said.

As for Europe, “the principle is to consolidate the condition of a minor partner that does not venture to disturb the policy of the zones of influence. Europe must be a reliable partner, but it cannot expect reciprocity,” he said.

To resolve the Ukraine crisis, there should be talks between Russia and the United States/the NATO/the European Union, and an independent Ukraine should not join NATO, he said.

“After NATO’s military interventions in Serbia in 1999, in Afghanistan in 2001, in Iraq in 2004, in Libya in 2011,” the sociologist asked at the end of his article, “will it be possible to continue to consider NATO a defensive organization?”