China and the Russian’s operation in Ukraine

China and the Russian’s operation in Ukraine

Andrey Kirillov
The Chinese capital is now, apparently, one of the most comfortable places for Russians in the world. Having put on my favorite Olympic jacket for the season with the coat of arms of Russia on one sleeve and the emblem of the Russian Olympic Committee on the other, with large letters RU on the chest, I not only feel safe here, but I constantly hear the approval of the Chinese – and in government agencies, and on the street.
Nevertheless, many Russian analysts, analyzing on noisy talk shows the ap-proaches of different countries and peoples to what is happening in Ukraine and around it, are noticeably lost, looking over the Great Wall of China. It seems like Beijing generally supports Moscow, but somewhere it seems to be making a “kootou” (ceremonial bow) towards Kyiv. As a result, the expression “positive Chinese neutrality” began to circulate in the domestic expert community, which, as it were, explains everything.
In reality, the Chinese position is a kind of bookcase – a three-level structure that combines an official approach, assessments of “one hundred honorable families” – ordinary people from the street, and practical steps. Such a complex structure (and it cannot be otherwise in the Celestial Empire) makes it possible to clearly separate the sober state vision of the Ukrain-ian crisis and the seething public passions, where, of course, both pro and contra meet, which ensures, in any case, that the national interests of a large country facing pressure.
Call me
Take, for example, a telephone conversation between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, initiated by the Ukrainian side on Tuesday. “Dmytro Kuleba asked Wang Yi to use the level of relations between Beijing and Moscow to force Russia to stop its armed aggression against the Ukrainian people,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a Facebook post. In response, the Chinese minister allegedly “confirmed China’s firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and noted the strategic nature of bilateral relations.” In addition, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry writes, “Kuleba emphasized China’s distancing from Putin’s decision to put the deterrent forces of the Russian army into a special mode of combat duty.”
Wang Yi appears to have declared China’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries in general. This is the principled position of Beijing, which should be understood primarily as the territorial integrity and sovereignty of China itself in relation to Taiwan, Hong Kong and a number of other regions and territories whose belonging to the PRC is directly or indirectly disputed by various other countries, both near and far.
In the version of the conversation cited by the PRC Foreign Ministry, everything does not look as categorical as in Kyiv. Wang Yi assured Dmitry Kuleba that China “will continue to play a constructive role to reduce tensions in Ukraine.” We hope that the parties concerned will maintain dialogue and negotiate and eventually “find ways to address the concerns of both sides,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in response to my request for comment.
Beijing also considers the territorial advancement of military blocs unacceptable, meaning, of course, NATO, where the current Ukrainian authorities are striving to get into. If this is a “cote”, then, as I see it, in the direction of the President of Russia.
Loved “Alenka”
One of the Chinese users of social networks posted a “sweet” post: a lot of “Alenka” sweets with the image of a ruddy girl, well-known not only in Russia, but already in China. In the accompanying text, he wrote that in Chengdu (the capital of Sichuan prov-ince), young people bought up all the stocks of Russian food products in stores. L-ike, the Sichuans have such an action – “Buy Russian”. True, having looked at Ta-obao (an online store kn-own not only in China), sw-eet tooth can exhale – there is a wide selection of swe-ets from Russia, as well as Russian cookies, flour, sa-usages, pasta and other products.
As for the content of p-osts on the Internet, the vast majority of authors who mention Ukraine express support for Russia’s actions – from restrained approval to enthusiastic delight. They feel sorry for the Ukrainian population that ended up in the zone of the military operation. Worried about Chinese students who are trying to get out of the surrounded cities – and there were a lot of them.
“In my WeChat [Chinese social network — approx. TASS], friends are very supportive of the right strike by Russia on the Nazi government of Ukraine, they are very sympathetic to the heroic Russian people,” one Chinese user wrote. aimed at defending their fatherland.” “And even some want to send their funds to support the families of the dead Russian heroes,” adds this user.
Most of all, Chinese networks criticize US policies.
Blame Washington
But it’s not just netizens who blame Washington. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday expressed Beijing’s concern over the US decision to expel 12 Russian diplomats to the UN. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said this at a briefing on Thursday, responding to a request from journalists to comment on the relevant information. “The Chinese side is concerned about the actions of the United States and hopes that the American side will give a comprehensive explanation in this regard,” he explained.
Judging by conversations with Chinese acquaintances, the PRC tries on much of what is happening around Ukraine to its own realities. Beijing has its own “hot topics” not only with Washington, but also with Brussels. The decision to open a representative of-fice of Taiwan in Lithuania, for example, is considered here as a “touchstone” in the Chinese garden on the part of the entire European community. This explains the limitation, for example, of access of Lithuanian products to Chinese markets. “This is a well-thought-out provocation,” says my Chinese interlocutor, “like a big Asian power “offends” a small and peace-loving European country. And right there it has both defenders and followers from among other EU countries.”
“The fears and hysteria that Washington is fanning make it difficult to reduce the severity of the situation around Ukraine,” writes B-eijing’s China Daily. Asse-ssing the causes of the conflict, the Chinese newspaper figuratively writes that the crisis in relations betw-een Russia and Ukraine “w-as a wound from the Cold War, which was opened and is now sprinkled with salt” by the United States.
The international community, especially European countries, said China Daily, should try to “depart from the prejudices of the past and look at the situation objectively.” However, this is being prevented by those militant circles in the States who would like to “finish history” in their own interests and who all these years have “worked hard to revive the Cold War split.”
Practice is the criterion of truth
While goods from Russ-ia are being removed from store shelves in Poland and Australia, the Chinese authorities have allowed the import of wheat from all over the Russian Federation. China will continue to import Russian natural gas and “maintain [with Russia] regular trade contacts on an equal, mutually beneficial basis,” despite Western sanctions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, answering a question from a Japanese journalist about future plans for cooperation between the states. “We strongly oppose any unilateral sanctions,” Wenbin said. The diplomat also added that the pressure of Western countries on the Russian Federation “has never been an effective way to solve problems.” “This will only lead to increased confrontation,” he said.
According to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, pipeline gas supplies from Russia in 2021 increased year-on-year by about 2.54 times, exceeding 7.53 million tons. The total cost of purchasing this type of energy carrier from the Russian Federation for 12 months reached $1.51 billion (an increase of 2.37 times). China does not intend to join the sanctions, said Guo Shuqing, head of the State Committee for Supervision of Banking and Insurance Activities of the People’s Republic of China. At the same time, Wang Wenbin stressed that in the process of resolving the conflict in Ukraine, China’s interests should not be infringed.
Spring has not been canceled
Despite the global agenda, on Wednesday the Russian Cultural Center in Beijing hosted the Chunjie – Maslenitsa – Navruz – Heralds of Spring holiday, which presented the traditions and customs of Ru-ssia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Everything was like in the good old days – songs, dances and refreshments. I was there too, drank honey-beer, ate pancakes, and I can say with confidence that the Russians, together with all the Beijingers and guests of the capital, freely admired the huge magnolia flowers near the walls of the Gugun Museum Complex (the former Forbidden City), which bloom here before anyone else in the big city . No one threw a sidelong glance at anyone.

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