On the side of Russia, China says NATO should stop ‘confrontational approach’

NATO’s attempt to pull China away from Russia’s orbit has failed. The West’s warnings against taking a stand on Moscow have not only fallen on deaf ears, they have also led to an almighty backlash from Beijing.

When Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg recently expressed his dismay at China’s unwillingness to condemn Russia’s war against Ukraine, he described Beijing’s stance as a “serious challenge” to the North Atlantic Alliance, which would have to “take into account how China’s growing influence and coercion” “. policies affect our security. “Chinese diplomats immediately fired back.

On Monday, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, offered a lengthy reply to Stoltenberg, who again framed NATO as outdated and accused it of damaging the security order following the Cold War in Europe. The bloc is now also trying to destabilize China’s immediate neighborhood, Zhao said.

This combination of photographs shows NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. At a regular press conference in Beijing on April 11, 2022, Zhao addressed Stoltenberg’s remarks after the alliance chief criticized China for its unwillingness to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS / GREG BAKER / AFP via Getty Images

“For some time, the NATO chief has ignored facts and confused black with white when making baseless accusations, smears and attacks on China,” he said without mentioning Stoltenberg. “He has made irresponsible comments on China’s foreign policy, proclaimed the ‘China threat’ and even used coercion against China recently.”

“NATO should immediately stop spreading disinformation and provocative remarks directed at China and abandon the confrontational approach of drawing ideological lines,” Zhao said. “NATO has disrupted Europe. It should stop trying to destabilize Asia and the world.”

To be sure, China had already joined Russia against NATO in January – weeks before the invasion began and ahead of Vladimir Putin’s meeting with Xi Jinping in Beijing – to announce the “no-limits” partnership between their nations. In the seven weeks since the start of the war, the Chinese leadership has offered the Kremlin political coverage at the highest level of global governance, abstaining from UN resolutions and voting with Russia, even as a majority of member states condemned Moscow’s war and later suspended it from the Human Rights Council. the first permanent member of the Security Council with such a record.

Asked by the press about the Bucha killings and the missile attack at Kramatorsk station, China has been largely untouched and said just enough to support an independent investigation, while not forgetting to draw attention to the “very different allegations” from Moscow and Kiev – an attitude that threatens to undermine efforts to gather international support for Ukraine and its people. In addition, China continues to express opposition to the West’s extensive sanctions against Russia, a punishment encouraged by Volodymyr Zelensky’s government.

But as pressure from NATO – and the EU – rises in parallel with the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, China has chosen to withdraw with a campaign for the entire government seeking to challenge the West’s suspicion of its almost alliance with Russia. Government officials, diplomats, state news outlets, and political commentators negotiate Russia’s line, creating some of their own at the same time in a row to undermine the unity of the alliance, which Beijing sees as a threat to its own geopolitical interests in Asia.

Zhao called NATO’s security policy “obsolete”. The alliance had “reduced itself to some country’s tool for hegemony,” he said, an apparent reference to the United States.

“NATO, a military organization in the North Atlantic, has traveled to the Asia-Pacific to tense muscles and provoke tensions in recent years. NATO has transcended regions and fields and demanded a new Cold War with bloc confrontation. This gives ample reason for high vigilance and firm opposition from the international community, “said the spokesman, who argued that China’s progress was an opportunity for the world rather than a threat.

Ukraine mourns losses from Russian invasion
Maria Korechko, right, mourns the funeral of her son, Ukrainian soldier Andriy Zagornyakon, in Kamianka-Buzka, Ukraine, on April 10, 2022. Since Russia’s attack on February 24, the estimated military losses to both pages varied greatly.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The latest sentiment from the outward-looking Foreign Ministry has given China’s state-affiliated media a guideline that could form the basis of renewed criticism of the West. At the forefront of the stories, which also appear in the coverage of the country’s broadcasters and major newspapers, the official news agency Xinhua accused NATO of undermining the peace talks between Ukraine and Russia while prolonging the war with its arms shipments.

“Following the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict, NATO countries hastily joined Washington to prevent a political solution, set fire to the flames and magnify the regional conflict, supply Ukraine with money and weapons, and impose extensive and arbitrary sanctions on Russia.” on April 10, the Xinhua editorial board, apparently suggesting that a rapid Ukrainian collapse and territorial concessions to Putin, were more favorable results than a protracted European war that would also affect the Chinese economy.

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