If US provokes China or Russia, the other won’t be indifferent
Published: Jan 28, 2022 10:49 PM
The national flags of China and Russia are seen on Red Square, Moscow. Photo: Xinhua

The national flags of China and Russia are seen on Red Square, Moscow. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on January 27 had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the latter's request. Judging from the briefings from both sides and various comments, Wang overwhelmed Blinken. The initial statement released by the US did not mention so-called "human rights," Hong Kong or Xinjiang, while the statement issued by China showed that Wang criticized the US for still sticking with erroneous words and deeds related to China and demanded that the US should stop interfering in the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, stop playing with fire on the Taiwan question, and stop creating various anti-China "small cliques."
The Ukraine crisis appeared to be the focus of the conversation. Wang called on all parties to remain calm and pointed out that Russia's legitimate security concerns should be taken seriously and addressed. This sentence has been widely quoted by US and Western media, as if a rare nerve was touched. They believe it's a symbol of "deepening relations" between China and Russia. 
But doesn't Russia have legitimate security concerns in East Europe? As far as I'm concerned, the Ukraine crisis contains two aspects: first, Russia-Ukraine dispute; second, a serious confrontation among all relevant parties caused by the US and NATO's strategic suppression of Russia. The eastward expansion of NATO is so unnerving to Russia, almost pushing Moscow into a corner. Russia demanded that NATO, which is hostile to Moscow, not absorb former Soviet republic Ukraine and not deploy troops on Russia's border. The request is within reason. 
The US is strategically squeezing China and Russia at the same time. It's arrogant. It is pushing China and Russia together to strike back. Russia has suffered more pressure from the US. How it will resolve disputes with Ukraine is one thing. But when it comes to resisting a US crackdown, Russia is not alone. Most of the Chinese people will support it and are willing to see the Chinese government assist Russia in this aspect. Because we know well that if Russia is crushed by the US, this will bring no good to China at all. China and Russia have a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. They are not empty words. 
Given a "back-to-back" relationship between China and Russia, the US cannot do anything with the two great powers. That Russia and China are "not allies, but better than allies" has become an official statement. Let Americans carefully mull over the connotation of this expression. If it provokes either China or Russia, the other one will not be indifferent. Washington should expect this in the future.  
The author is a commentator with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn