Posted 22 февраля 2022,, 15:00

Published 22 февраля 2022,, 15:00

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

West considers that Beijing has betrayed Moscow and supports Ukraine. Is it really so?

22 февраля 2022, 15:00
China deceived Moscow and began to support Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. The reason for such conversations was the online speech of the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC, Wang Yi, from the podium of the 58th Munich Security Conference.

Sergey Kron

Ukraine's leading news outlet reported that Minister Wang Yi made it clear in his speech that China supports Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. “They must be protected, because this is the basic norm of international relations. Ukraine is no exception”, - Wang Yi said.

The head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry noted that if someone wants to question this position of official Beijing, this will mean inflating the situation and distorting the position of this country.

The Chinese diplomat urged Russia, Europe and the United States to agree on a roadmap for the implementation of the Minsk process, adding that this is the only solution to resolve the crisis.

"All parties should take responsibility and work for peace", - Wang Yi rightly said. The minister added that last week, the Chinese government issued a document confirming support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.

In addition to a number of Western media that announced Beijing's "cunning games", Wang Yi's speech was commented on by Wang Yiwei, director of the Center for European Studies at Peking University. In particular, according to The South China Morning Post, the scholar said the minister's comments are in line with China's continued support for Ukraine's independence and sovereignty within the close 30-year bilateral relationship. "This is the principle that China upholds for all countries without exception, including Ukraine and Russia," the analyst concluded.

Reuters did not notice anything unusual in Wang Yi's Munich speech. According to the agency, China will support Russia in the Ukrainian conflict diplomatically and, possibly, economically, worsening the already tense relations with the West, but will not provide military support. In addition, Beijing has consistently called for a peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis through dialogue.

It should not be forgotten that China was the only country that voted with Russia against the US position at the UN Security Council meeting on the buildup of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine. In addition, the Celestial Empire promised to expand economic cooperation with Russia, which will weaken the impact of sanctions promised by the West in the event of an “invasion”.

The expert community is sure that China does not expect Russia to provide it with military assistance in the event of a war over Taiwan, and Moscow does not expect Beijing to support it with troops in a military conflict with Ukraine. The Russians don't need that kind of help.

Alexander Gabuyev, the head of the "Asian Program" of the Carnegie Moscow Center, commented to "Novye Izvestia" on the situation that had arisen:

"Please note that in the recent Joint Statement of Russia and China, signed by President Vladimir Putin and Chairman Xi Jinping, the word "Ukraine" is never mentioned at all. Yes, the document criticized the West about NATO expansion and recognized Russian security concerns in Europe as “legitimate and reasonable”. On the other hand, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Munich that Beijing supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. I believe that these two statements do not contradict each other. Remember that China does not recognize Crimea as Russian, and has not recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Chinese have their own fairly consistent position, which coincides with their national interests. For this they can only be respected", - said Gabuyev.

Sinologist, analyst, doctor of historical sciences Sergei Novikov, in an interview with Novye Izvestia, said that The South China Morning Post, published in Hong Kong, has long been under the control of Beijing. And if they publish material hinting that China took the side of official Kiev in the conflict in Donbas, it can be considered a signal sent to the West and Moscow. The Chinese have always done this. During Mao's time, the Dagun Bau newspaper was published in Hong Kong, which was subordinate to Beijing. And when the authorities wanted to tell the outside world something, they turned to the services of this particular publication.

- There is a fear in the Chinese political elite that, they say, Russia is returning to its Soviet origins - it is trying to regain its lost influence in Eastern Europe, and therefore it must be restrained. The founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, used to say: “What is the difference between Russia and China? Russia has always conquered its neighbors, and China has always traded!” The Chinese believe in this. But we still live in a different era. In Munich, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China supports the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And did Russia once opposed this?

According to the expert, Yevgeny Primakov warned: China is moving closer to Ukraine, the Chinese are giving Kiev large loans, but Russia is not. Years have passed, and what do we see? After the return of Crimea, several Chinese state-owned banks, including the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China, provided loans to Russian state-owned banks that were sanctioned by the West. Although it turned out that Moscow and Beijing are not allies. The Chinese are at war with Vietnam over the disputed islands, and we have excellent relations with that country. In Beijing, nothing is presented to Moscow about this, they are not indignant. And they have their own attitude to the conflict in Ukraine. They have the right, - says analyst Novikov.

Political scientist and sinologist Yuri Tavrovsky told Novye Izvestia that the Western media very often resemble a frog that sits at the bottom of a well and sees only a piece of the sky. In his opinion, even now, under conditions of strict information control by the authorities, the spread of opinions in the Chinese expert community, in the press, and especially in social networks, is huge. There are many different points of view regarding the attitude towards the Ukrainian crisis.

"It's no secret that a large part of Chinese society has reverent feelings towards America. Other, more advanced citizens understand that the Cold War with the US is already underway. Therefore, now there are so many forecasts and analysts that are produced by research centers in China. But what is very important to understand is that these centers have a second or even a third role in decision-making in China. Party, administrative and military bodies practically do not take into account the opinion of scientists and political scientists. The final decision in the country is made by only one person. China as a power has its own national interests at this stage, coinciding with the interests of Russia. Of course, the Chinese are not going to send troops to Ukraine. Beijing has no doubt that the US plans to include Donbass, and later Taiwan", - said expert Tavrovsky.