China 'won't be coerced by US' on its ties with Russia
Published: Mar 20, 2022 10:28 PM Updated: Mar 21, 2022 08:55 AM
The hopeless fault-finder Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The hopeless fault-finder Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

After the video call between Chinese and US top leaders, the US side and Western media are trying to hype a narrative that Washington is warning Beijing that any attempt "to provide military support" to Moscow would bring consequences. However, Chinese experts said such a ridiculous approach is an arrogant and useless coercion that is doomed to fail, and China has strong confidence in its foreign policy on the Ukraine issue and it will not be coerced by anyone.  

China's position on the Ukraine issue is objective and fair, and time will prove that it is on the right side of history, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday. 

Wang made the remarks when briefing journalists on the exchange of views between the heads of China and the US on the Ukraine issue during a video call that took place on Friday. 

China will continue to make its judgment independently and in an objective and fair manner based on the merits of the matter, said Wang, noting that China will never accept any external coercion and pressure, and China opposes all groundless accusations and suspicions against China.

The White House released the transcript of background press call by a "senior administration official" on the video call between the Chinese and US top leaders. The official said in the statement that "President Biden made clear the implication and consequences of China providing material support - if China were to provide material support - to Russia as it prosecutes its brutal war in Ukraine, not just for China's relationship with the United States but for the wider world."  

On Friday, US media Politico also said in a report that "EU leaders" are in possession of "very reliable evidence" that China is "considering military assistance" to Russia, quoting "a senior EU official" on condition of anonymity.

Chinese analysts said information - or disinformation, to be exact - like this backed by no solid evidence was fabricated to serve the US strategy to coerce and pressure China and force China to take sides between the US and Russia instead of keeping neutral. Such an act of bullying might work on some countries with no independent diplomacy, but the US will never get what it wants when it comes to China. If Washington dares impose any so-called consequences upon China, it should carefully calculate how China would retaliate. 

Just hours before the phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on Friday, China, in a rare move, sent tough signals, stating it will never accept US threats and coercion over the Ukraine issue and vowing to make a strong response if the US takes measures harming China's legitimate interests. 

In an exclusive interview with the Global Times, an anonymous Chinese official said China accepted the US' proposal for the phone call between the heads of the two countries 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.

Made-up story

Some Western media and US senior officials are trying to spread a narrative that  China is considering supplying Russia with weapons to support its operation in Ukraine, but it is very obvious that such a fabricated story makes no sense nor has a military basis, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"Russia's military operation in Ukraine is not a massive war that Russia can't afford independently, and according to what we saw so far, the Russian military industrial sectors can provide what Russian troops need. Russia is maintaining military exports to its partners, so why would it need military supplies from others?" asked Song.

The US and its NATO allies are supplying weapons to Ukraine to prevent the war from ending too quickly so they can maximize the profits for their military-industrial giants, therefore they worry that other countries will do the same to Russia to set off their efforts. This is typical thinking of judging others based on their own mind-set without learning the facts, said experts.

China is keeping neutral on the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, so providing military support to any side would go against its foreign policy and the national interests of China. Therefore, hyping claims that China is supporting Russia's operation against Ukraine is an act intended to inflame China's ties with Russia and Ukraine, analysts said.

In addition, China's weapons systems are different from Russia's, so it is not a wise choice for Russia to purchase Chinese weapons for the ongoing operation in Ukraine, because it takes time for Russian troops to train for these weapons, so importing foreign weapons cannot help the urgent need in the battlefields, Song said. He also noted that Russia is a country with an independent and self-reliant military industrial system, so it will not have such problems.

Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday that "the narrative that the US side released is just like creating credits from something that doesn't exist. Such as the Biden administration can trumpet that thanks to the warning it released to China, Russia didn't get the military supplies. This is also a trick to serve its propaganda game."

Keeping neutral 

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang noted that during the Friday video call between the two heads of state, China had proposed its own solution to the Ukraine crisis, which mainly includes two aspects.

The priority, he said, is that all sides must push for dialogue and negotiation between the immediate parties, cease hostilities as soon as possible, avoid civilian casualties, and prevent a humanitarian crisis.

An enduring solution lies in the rejection of the Cold War mentality, refraining from bloc confrontation, and building a balanced, effective and sustainable regional security architecture to realize long-term peace in Europe, Wang said.

China's stance is much more reasonable and responsible than the US approaches of merely imposing sanctions to maximize the harm to the Russian people, and it is also fair for Ukraine to seek a solution via diplomatic efforts, said experts, but recently, a Ukrainian government official made an inappropriate statement to China.  

"China can be the global security system's important element if it makes a right decision to support the civilized countries coalition and condemn Russian barbarism," Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

This Ukrainian official has made a big mistake if he believes he can lecture China, a major power with international influence, about right and wrong. Ukrainian officials like him should learn that, not just China, there are many countries with international or regional influences that have decided not to blindly follow US-led sanctions and one-sided condemnations against Russia, such as India, Turkey, South Africa and Israel. It is arrogant and unwise to force neutral parties to take sides as it would offend these parties and bring unnecessary trouble, said experts. 

Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday that other neutral countries have received less pressure from the West because the US believes that China is much more significant. 

"It has tried very hard to push China to follow it to isolate Russia, and what Podolyak is doing is to serve the US goal to push China," Cui said.

"Officials like Podolyak in Ukraine are willing to act as a tool for the US," Cui noted. "They simply have no independent thinking." 

Thanks to assistance from the Ukraine government, all Chinese citizens have been  evacuated from Ukraine safely, and China has also provided humanitarian materials to Ukraine to help its people who are suffering. Kiev needs to treasure its healthy and friendly ties with China rather than following the US to lecture China and try to interrupt China's independent foreign policy with other countries, said experts.