Blaming China won’t solve Ukraine crisis
Published: Apr 23, 2024 09:55 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China from April 24 to 26, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Monday. This will be a very important visit to China in the aftermath of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's China visit. 

Last week, Reuters quoted a senior US official as stating that the US is prepared to act against Chinese companies supporting Russia's war in Ukraine, highlighting it as an issue Blinken will raise during his trip to China.

China is not a direct stakeholder in this war. China does not take sides in this war. Therefore, any accusation suggesting that China is picking sides in this war, or supporting one side against the other, is completely delusional.

From the very beginning, China has stood for an immediate cease-fire, stopping the hostilities between the two sides with the aim of saving civilian lives, on the Ukrainian side, as well as the Russian side. China came up with a peace proposal on the 1st anniversary of Russia-Ukraine conflict, and that peace proposal still remains on the table. Eventually, whatever hostilities there are between Russia and Ukraine, they should be addressed at the negotiation table.

If the US wants to sow some discord between China and Russia, they may be betting on the wrong horse. After all, we share a common border of more than 4,300 kilometers long. This is very much a stabilizing factor for peace and stability throughout Eurasia.

By falsely accusing China of supporting Russia militarily, Washington is trying to put China in the spotlight. But blaming China does not solve the Ukraine crisis.

The US keeps lecturing China, talking down to China and trying to impose its version of the truth on China. Washington should think again, if it believes that China will accept the lecturing and the imposition from Washington. Beijing and Washington need to respect and treat each other as equals.

We will always have differences, but it is the time to use diplomacy, wisdom and mutual respect to deal with each other, and try to resolve and overcome whatever differences there are. If Washington comes to Beijing and tries to impose its own version of the truth on China, it may backfire, and have a detrimental effect on the China-US relationship.

Take a look at the Ukraine crisis and the escalation of warfare between Israel and Palestine. I think anyone in politics should urge Washington not to overreach too much as this may be a situation which could result in a move from peace to war and from a regional war to a global war.

Based on my understanding of the US, it always conducts three things at the same time: diplomacy, war and intelligence. And sometimes these three pillars reinforce each other and sometimes they override each other. 

If diplomacy is too expensive, the US turns to military means. If the military means does not work or is too costly, then the US turns to intelligence. These three things are not mutually exclusive of each other. They mutually reinforce each other.

The US is very actively using these three different legs: diplomacy, military and intelligence. The key is its fundamental goal. What is the US' end game for the war in Ukraine?   

I hope when Blinken arrives in Beijing, he will use his wisdom, courage and balance to come up with a proposal to be discussed with China with the goal being peace for Ukraine, aiming to save the maximum amount of civilian life in Ukraine. The US should not seek to prolong the war, sacrificing more civilian lives.

The author is a chair professor at Soochow University and Vice President of the Center for China and Globalization. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn