Xi-Johnson talks stress need for cooperation, show China’s mutually trusted communication with Russia, Europe amid Ukraine crisis
Published: Mar 26, 2022 03:14 AM
China UK Photo:VCG

China UK Photo:VCG

President Xi Jinping spoke with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the phone on Friday, in which he stressed the need for the two countries to take a strategic and long-term perspective, keep an open and inclusive mindset and expand mutually beneficial cooperation.

The talks were held against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Chinese analysts said that the mutual interests between China and the UK formed in the past 50 years ensure stable bilateral relations despite various issues including the Ukraine crisis. 

With regard to the 50th anniversary of the ambassadorial diplomatic ties between China and the UK, Xi noted that over the past half century, despite some twists and turns, the China-UK relationship has on the whole kept growing.

He affirmed China's candid, open and inclusive attitude toward dialogue and cooperation with the UK. He called on the UK to view China and China-UK relations in an objective and impartial light and to work with China to keep moving the bilateral ties forward.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine. Xi expounded on China's position, stressing the need for the international community to make genuine efforts to promote peace talks, create conditions for a political settlement of the Ukraine issue, and facilitate an early return of peace in Ukraine. He expressed China's readiness to play a continued, constructive role to this end.

The talks highlighted close bilateral relations amid the Ukraine crisis, experts said, noting that the talks pointed out the broad cooperation in bilateral trade and global issues, as well as the need for the two countries to coordinate on the Ukraine crisis and promote peace talks.   

Li Haidong, a professor from the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the talks also showed that China and the UK have broad cooperation space regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as China can engage in mutually trusted communications with Russia and Europe, and China would like to play a constructive role to help cool the tension in Europe, Li said. 

Reporting on the talks, several British media reports claimed Johnson urged China to pressure Russia over the Ukraine crisis. 

Li said the UK media is just like the US media in attempting to pressure China in order to show the West's unhealthy mindset of superiority.  

"The West, including the US and the UK, should not portray their need for China's help through distorting public opinion. Forcing China to follow the West's policy is an act of hegemony," Li said.

China will take into consideration both Russia's and Europe's concerns. It's shameless for the US to try to mobilize allies to force its needs onto China on the Ukraine issue and pass its responsibility to China, he said. 

The talks were held one day after a meeting of NATO heads of state which called on all countries including China to abstain from supporting Russia's "war effort."

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday that China's position is in line with the wishes of most countries and China stands against groundless accusations and suspicions targeting China. Also, China will never accept any pressure or coercion.