China cautions US over standoff with Russia
Russia’s concerns about safety on the European continent cannot be pushed aside by the US and warrant genuine consideration, China has warned, amid a tense stand-off between Washington and Moscow.
In a telephone call on Thursday, Beijing's Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered US Secretary of State Antony Blinken advice on how to calm growing tensions in the region.
“Today, in the 21st century, all parties must completely abandon the Cold War mentality and form a balanced, effective and sustainable negotiated European security mechanism,” he told Blinken, according to the ministry’s official website.
Wang added that “Russia’s legitimate security concerns must be taken seriously and addressed.” According to him, regional security cannot be ensured by strengthening and expanding military blocs.
“The security of one country cannot be achieved at the expense of another,” he said. The foreign minister also reiterated China’s calls for all sides to refrain from actions that could further inflame tensions.
The remarks come shortly after Washington responded to Moscow’s proposals. Speaking on Wednesday, the head of the US-led military bloc, Jens Stoltenberg, said NATO “will not compromise” on potential expansion into Ukraine, Georgia, and other former Soviet republics, as this clashes with its “core principles.”
Last month, Russia handed over two draft documents, one addressed to Washington and the other to NATO, which it says are aimed at reducing the risk of conflict on the European continent. Moscow requested that the bloc refrain from any military activity on the territory of former Warsaw Pact states that joined after 1997, following the fall of the Soviet Union.
Earlier in December, the aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Yuri Ushakov, said Chinese leader Xi Jinping is fully supportive of Moscow’s attempt to gain assurances from NATO, a notable revelation given that Beijing has previously sought to distance itself from its neighbor’s problems in dealing with other European states.
“Since the chairman [Xi] specifically stated that he supports Russia’s demands for guarantees, he is naturally well aware of and understands the main issue: the concerns Russia has on its western borders,” Ushakov said following talks via video-link between the two sides. “We will keep our Chinese counterparts informed of how negotiations and contacts on this matter will unfold with our American and NATO partners.”