Wang Yi urges US to stop interrupting Beijing Games, respect Russia's concerns over Ukraine in phone call with Blinken
Published: Jan 27, 2022 01:06 PM Updated: Jan 27, 2022 04:06 PM
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Chinese Foreign Ministry

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Chinese Foreign Ministry

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday urged the US to stop interfering in the Beijing Winter Olympics and stop playing with fire on the Taiwan question while calling on all parties involved in Ukraine to remain calm and not instigate tensions in a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  

The Chinese foreign minister also stressed that "pressure will only make the Chinese people more united, and confrontation will not stop China from becoming stronger," and he also said Russia's "legitimate security concerns" over the Ukraine issue should be taken seriously and addressed.

Chinese experts said that the US now desperately needs communication with China due to the close ties and high-level mutual trust between China and Russia, and the matter of unfair and illegitimate US tariffs over Chinese goods is another hot issue. However, China wants to talk to the US as it has found that Washington failed to implement Biden's positive message for fixing China-US ties from China-US virtual summit in November, and wants to reaffirm China's red lines on relevant issues. 

At the request of the US, Wang had a phone call with Blinken on Thursday to discuss bilateral relations and the Ukraine crisis, according to a news release by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Wang warned during the conversation that the US should implement the positive response made by US President Joe Biden in the previous China-US virtual summit in November, and stop interrupting the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and stop playing with fire on the Taiwan question and creating various anti-China "cliques." 

The US State Department is considering allowing its embassy and consulates to authorize the departure of their employees in China, citing "China's epidemic situation" ahead of Beijing Winter Olympics, a source familiar with the matter told the Global Times late Tuesday night. 

Chinese experts believed the ill-intentioned tactics expose only the true intention of Washington in sabotaging the Winter Olympic Games and its inconsistent China policy. 

Wang said mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation are the three principles for developing China-US relations in the new era, as Chinese President Xi Jinping brought up in the virtual meeting in November with US President Joe Biden. The remarks also received a positive response from Biden. 

"However, what the world has seen is that there has been no substantive change in the tone in US policy toward China and President Biden's stated position has not been fully implemented. The US side is still sticking with erroneous words and deeds related to China," he stressed.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the Biden administration is unlikely to change the duplicity of its diplomacy as it is getting more and more frustrated in dealing with China as it has tried almost everything, but achieved no significant goal in containing China.

Experts said the US' recent acts in interrupting the Beijing Winter Olympics and continuing military acts in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits, as well as its reluctance in fixing trade ties, just prove the Biden administration has very low credibility as its words and acts are mostly contradictory, and China holds no illusion that the US will fully keep its promises.

"But the timing of the Wang-Blinken phone conversation is important, and it's probably signaling that the top leaders of the two countries are likely to have another talk ahead of or amid the Chinese Lunar New Year," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday. 

Although the China-US tension is far from over, the two countries all have significant political agendas in 2022 - the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and midterm elections in the US, so normally at these times, the positive parts of US policy toward China will see trouble, while confrontation will be largely promoted, Li said. 

"So the direct conversation between the top diplomats of the two countries at the beginning of 2022 also aims to prevent potential miscalculations and new escalations of existing tension," Li said.

Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times that the world also expects China and the US to keep communicating, and this call is sending a signal to the international community that the channel for communication is still working.

Blinken said that it is important for the foreign ministers of the two countries to have regular communication, stressing that there is no change in President Biden's stated position during the meeting between the two heads of state. 

The US and China have both overlapping interests and differences, and the US is ready to manage and control the differences in a responsible manner, Blinken said. 

The US one-China policy remains unchanged, Blinken said, noting that the US will cheer for its athletes participating in the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, and wishes the Chinese people a happy Spring Festival.

Blinken also briefed Wang Yi on the US position on the Ukrainian issue, among others. Wang said to solve the Ukrainian issue, it is still necessary to return to the new Minsk agreement. 

The new Minsk agreement, endorsed by the UN Security Council, is a basic political document recognized by all parties and should be implemented earnestly. China will support any effort that conforms to the direction and spirit of this agreement, Wang noted. 

"The reason why the Ukraine situation has become intense again is that the US is trying to violate the new Minsk agreement as it's supplying weapons to Ukraine and trying to deploy more weapons in the region, and even seeking an expansion of NATO, so these will surely cause a reaction from Russia," said Yang Jin, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Wang said "At the same time, we call on all parties to remain calm and refrain from inflaming tensions or hyping up the crisis. The security of one country should not be at the expense of the security of others, and regional security should not be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding military blocs." 

Today in the 21st century, all parties should completely abandon a Cold War mentality, and form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiations, with Russia's legitimate security concerns being taken seriously and addressed.

Yang said we hope the situation in Georgia during the Beijing Olympics 2008 will not happen again. "At that time, the then Georgian government believed it had support from the US to provoke Russia and then received Russia's counter-attack." Today, the US is withdrawing its diplomats from Ukraine and providing weapons to Kiev which is irresponsible and a dangerous sign of war, he said.