Lukashenko’s China trip shows West’s petty-minded sensitivity: Global Times editorial
Published: Feb 28, 2023 12:13 AM
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Photo: VCG

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko Photo: VCG

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is paying a state visit to China from Tuesday to Thursday. During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, last September, the two heads of state held a bilateral meeting and announced to upgrade China-Belarus relations to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership. At that time, both sides said in a joint statement that they would strengthen exchanges at high and various levels. Lukashenko's visit to China will help the two sides further implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state. Belarusian media predicts that the key areas the two sides will discuss include political, economic, investment, and humanitarian cooperation, as well as the joint response to severe challenges in the current international situation.

China has another "iron brother" besides Pakistan, that is, Belarus. Over the past 31 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Belarus have supported each other and cooperated for mutual benefits. China is one of the first countries to recognize Belarus' independence, and Belarus is also among the first countries to respond to and participate in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. The China-Belarus industrial park, jointly built by the two countries, is known as a "pearl" along the Silk Road Economic Belt. The economies of China and Belarus are highly complementary, and the potential to further strengthen cooperation is vast. The two countries will use more concrete practices to enrich and define their all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership, and the high-level political mutual trust between the two sides has made all of this full of hope.

Prior to this visit to China, President Lukashenko recalled his first trip to China decades ago and how he was touched by China's rapid development over the years. He said compared to the past, today's China has made enormous achievements in development and played an important role in international affairs. Lukashenko said that no problem in the world today can be resolved without China, adding that Belarus' development also cannot be achieved without drawing on China's experience. As a witness, President Lukashenko's profound understanding and recognition of China's path to Chinese modernization has added weight to the relationship between China and Belarus.

At the same time, this visit has also received special attention from the international community due to the Ukraine crisis. Just before President Lukashenko's visit to China, China released its Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, which has met wide expectations from the international community. Belarus has clearly expressed its support for and approval of China's position. Both China and Belarus support to peacefully dissolve conflicts through diplomatic means. If the two countries strengthen communication on the Ukraine issue, it will obviously be helpful to resolve the crisis, rather than adding fuel to it like some major powers have done.

We have also noticed that some Western media outlets still view this visit through a biased lens, describing Belarus as Russia's "little ally" and suggesting that China's "expanding influence" should be a cause for concern. This view shows disrespect for Belarus. It is not only highly narrow-minded, but also reflects some Western political elites' insincerity and hypocrisy toward peace. Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine are known as the three Slavic brothers, sharing the same historical roots. Minsk has played the role of mediator between Russia and Ukraine on multiple occasions. At the same time, as one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China has always played a positive role in promoting peace talks. This should be seen as a positive asset for the international community.

We emphasize that both China-Belarus relations and China-Russia relations are built on the basis of non-confrontation, non-alliance and non-targeting of third countries. This sends a clear message to the world that China develops all bilateral relations with its partners based on common interests, and the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, with open doors for cooperation. We will never bypass a country just because the US or others do not like it. This is the right approach that truly conforms to the trend of globalization and the spirit of diversity.

Entering 2023, China has successively welcomed visits by leaders from multiple countries, and more leaders are expected to visit China in the future. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he will visit China in early April, following Lukashenko's visit. EU leaders Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen are also expected to visit China in the first half of this year. These visits are likely to focus on bilateral cooperation and explore regional hot issues. China has always been open and straightforward about this - as long as it is a matter of equality and mutual benefit, and a matter that is conducive to world peace and stability, China always holds a positive and open attitude. This has never changed.

We welcome President Lukashenko's visit to China, as well as all foreign friends who are committed to peace and development. A friendly and gentle China full of vitality and opportunities will naturally have a strong attractiveness, which is fundamentally different from some big powers that are deliberately seeking to forum cliques and alliances. China conforms to the trend of the times and definitely has an inexhaustible and powerful driving force.