China has offered to assist Russia in its confrontational relationship with the US and NATO over Ukraine, saying Moscow has “reasonable security concerns” that Washington and its allies should “seriously” consider. .
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, that the security of the European region cannot be guaranteed by “strengthening or even expanding military blocs”, in comments apparently as supporting Russia ‘s objection to Ukraine joining NATO in the future .
Speaking on Thursday during a videoconference call with Blinken, Wang called on all sides to “give up on the cold war mentality” and called for “balanced” talks to resolve tensions over the conflict. Ukraine, according to a statement by China’s foreign ministry.
The State Department said that Blinken emphasized the need for de-escalation and diplomacy during his call with Wang, but also “highlighted the global economic and security risks posed by further Russian aggression against Ukraine.” “.
Russia has massed more than 106,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, raising fears that President Vladimir Putin is preparing an invasion. Nato has increased its presence in the eastern member states while some western powers have increased their supply of weapons and equipment to Kyiv.
Moscow has demanded Western security guarantees, including that Ukraine should never become a member of NATO and that the security alliance should delay deployment in the acceding countries after 1997.
The United States and NATO issued formal written responses to Moscow on Wednesday, echoing earlier statements that Russia’s core demands are unacceptable and that all countries can Nato member request.
Russia said the remaining responses “little cause for optimism“But suggest a conversation will continue” on secondary issues”.
Wang’s comments come as China prepares to host the Beijing Winter Olympics, which it hopes will not be overshadowed by the war in Ukraine. They also point to growing concern in Beijing about US efforts to strengthen alliances in Asia and Europe to counter China’s rise.
China and Russia have also increased cooperation over the past year, including holding many joint exercises. Chinese President Xi Jinping also talked to Putin more than any other foreign leader last year.
Washington has warned Moscow that it will impose strong financial sanctions in response to an invasion. In a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday afternoon, Biden said the United States and its allies were ready to “react decisively” in the event of Russian aggression, according to the White House.
The US president also said the US was exploring “additional macroeconomic support” to help Ukraine’s economy weather pressure from Russian threats – and reassured the Ukrainian president that the US embassy in Kyiv remains open despite the passing of family members of the diplomat.
The Biden administration is closely watching for any signs that Beijing is planning to help ease pressure on Moscow in the event that Washington moves forward with any sanctions.
Victoria Nuland, US Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said on Thursday that it would not be in China’s interest to side with Russia.
“If there was a conflict in Ukraine, that wouldn’t be good for China either,” Nuland said. “There will be a significant impact on the global economy. There will be a significant impact in the energy sphere. “
Wang also called on the US to “stop burning fire on the Taiwan issue” and “stop meddling” in the Beijing Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to start next week. The United States will not send a diplomatic representative to the Olympics to protest China’s alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
The specter of Taiwan-China relations is growing as Beijing responds to Moscow’s aggression towards Ukraine.
Ukraine and Taiwan hold historical importance to Russia and China, respectively, and some experts see the US response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a test of its own. How will it react? against China’s move to invade Taiwan, a self-governing island claimed by Beijing.