China to provide Ukraine humanitarian aid, praises Russia ties

Chinese FM says real goal of the US Indo-Pacific strategy is to establish ‘Indo-Pacific version of NATO’

Reuters/Anadolu Agency March 07, 2022
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-yong at Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, September 15, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

China's Red Cross will provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine "as soon as possible", Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday, as he praised his country's friendship with Russia as "rock solid".

China has refused to condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine or call it an invasion while asking Western countries to respect Russia's "legitimate security concerns."

Wang said the causes of the "Ukraine situation" were "complex" and had not happened overnight, noting, using a traditional Chinese expression, that "three feet of ice does not form in a single day".

"Solving complex problems requires calmness and rationality, rather than adding fuel to the fire and intensifying contradictions," he told a news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's parliament.

China has already done "some work" to promote peace talks and has all along been in contact with all sides, he added.

"China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in pushing for peace and promoting talks, and is willing to work with the international community to carry out necessary mediation when needed."

China is willing to continue to make its own efforts to resolve the humanitarian crisis and the country's Red Cross will "as soon as possible" provide a batch of aid to Ukraine, Wang said, without giving details. It was the first time the country has announced such help.

China proposes that "humanitarian action" must abide by the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and humanitarian issues should not be politicised, he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Chinese President Xi Jinping hours before the start of last month's Winter Olympics in Beijing and they signed a wide-ranging strategic partnership aimed at countering US influence and said they would have "no 'forbidden' areas of cooperation".

Wang said the friendship between China and Russia was "rock solid" and prospects for cooperation bright.

"No matter how sinister the international situation is, both China and Russia will maintain their strategic determination and continuously push forward the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era."

Beijing calls US Indo-Pacific strategy ‘sinister’

Wang criticised the US strategy for the wider Asia-Pacific.

“The real goal of the US Indo-Pacific strategy is to establish an Indo-Pacific version of NATO,” Wang said, calling the Indo-Pacific strategy as “sinister, return of bloc politics and disrupter of peace”.

“The US has ‘54321’ strategy,” he said, pointing to Five Eyes, Quad, AUKUS, and bilateral relationships in the region. “They are doomed to fail.”

On China-US relations, Wang repeated the two countries need to “replace the ‘competitive-collaborative-adversarial’ trichotomy with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation".

The Chinese foreign minister stressed there is no comparison between the "Ukraine crisis" and Taiwan issue.

“Those talking of Ukraine's sovereignty undermine China’s sovereignty,” he said, calling Taiwan as an "inalienable part" of China.

“These are double standards,” he said. “Some forces in the US have condoned separatists in Taiwan to undermine rejuvenation of China.”

As the world focuses on the Russia-Ukraine war, observers are also closely watching China's moves regarding Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province.

Taipei, however, has insisted on its independence since 1949 and maintains diplomatic relations with at least 14 countries.

"Taiwan’s future and hope lies in the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and reunification with the mainland," Wang said.

On relations with India, Wang said the border tensions “should not affect bigger picture”.

“Some forces always seek to stoke tensions between India and China (but) only by staying independent can both firmly grasp our destiny,” he said.

Calling for aiding Afghanistan during its “critical moments” when it is facing humanitarian crisis, Wang called out Washington for “leaving Afghanistan irresponsibly”.

He called for “unconditionally returning Afghan assets and lifting unilateral sanctions”.


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