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16 Oct, 2022 07:23

China and NATO spar over Ukraine conflict – Bloomberg

After being criticized for not condemning Moscow, Beijing’s envoy reportedly urged the West to look at “the root cause” of the crisis
China and NATO spar over Ukraine conflict – Bloomberg

A senior NATO official clashed with a Chinese envoy over Beijing’s reluctance to follow the lead of Western countries and denounce Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict, Bloomberg reported on Saturday.

Speaking at the annual Arctic Circle Assembly, Admiral Rob Bauer, the chair of NATO’s Military Committee, reportedly accused China of “undermining the rules-based international order,” adding that Beijing does not share the West’s values.

He Rulong, China’s ambassador to Iceland, challenged Bauer. “Admiral, with due respect, your speech and remarks are filled with arrogance,” he replied, as cited by Bloomberg.

The NATO official replied that China has insisted that it supports “the principle of sovereignty and the importance of the internationally recognized borders in the world… So why is it possible then that China still is not condemning Russia’s attack in Ukraine?

According to Bloomberg, the Chinese envoy said that Beijing regards the Ukraine crisis through a historical perspective and urged the West to “understand the root cause” of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

Later, in an apparent attempt to smooth things out, He Rulong posted photos from the conference on Twitter, including one of him and the NATO admiral shaking hands.

Commenting on the exchange, he said that “it’s really good to speak out and talk when you have different ideas,” adding that “increased understandings will make our world a more peaceful place.”

Unlike many Western countries, China has refused to condemn and sanction Russia for its military operation in Ukraine, which started in late February. It has repeatedly stated that Western countries and Ukraine failed to address Russia’s “legitimate security concerns,” while blasting NATO for pushing tensions between Moscow and Kiev to a “breaking point.”