China reacts to Russian military operation in Ukraine by calling for restraint

Beijing called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis and criticized US sanctions

The events in Ukraine, where the Russian military special operation began, are being watched not only in the West, but also in the East. We looked at what the Chinese press writes and what high-ranking representatives of Beijing say about the situation.


“The situation in Ukraine is rapidly escalating after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized a “special operation” on Thursday. in Donbass, – writes the Chinese English-language edition of the Global Times. – According to media reports, after Putin's statement, explosions occurred in several cities of Ukraine.

While the Russian-Ukrainian crisis is shaking global markets with falling stocks and rising oil prices, some Western leaders such as Ursula von der Leyden, President of the European Commission, and US President Joe Biden have condemned Russia's actions. In a tweet early Thursday morning, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Russia's actions “a reckless attack on Ukraine that endangers the lives of countless civilians.”

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Zhang Jun urged all parties involved in a crisis, maintain restraint and avoid further escalation of the situation.

“China believes that the door to a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian issue has not been completely closed and should not be closed. At present, in order to avoid escalating conflicts, China will continue to promote peace and negotiations in its own way,” — said Zhang.

The Chinese diplomat noted that Beijing has repeatedly pointed out that the Ukrainian issue has a complicated history. , and the evolution of the situation is the result of the combined action of various factors.

The sudden change in the situation in Ukraine has caused great concern around the world, writes Global Times. In this regard, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently stated that the legitimate security interests of any country should be “respected”; and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be respected.

Some Chinese observers have said that the United States continues its intense containment of Russia, which eventually forced Russia to try to implement its security demands in this way.

“How the situation will develop, I think we need more time to observe. First, we must focus on the attitude of the United States, on whether Washington will go to direct war against Russia, — Yang Jin, a junior fellow at the Institute for Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday, noting that it all depends on how NATO responds.

The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine on Thursday issued a warning to Chinese citizens and Chinese companies in Ukraine, advising them to stay at home. The embassy said that in the event of a dangerous situation, they need to remain calm and ensure personal safety. The embassy also asked them to follow the development of the situation. And if they're traveling long distances, they need to make sure there are open gas stations along the route to refuel their vehicles. The statement reminded Chinese citizens to affix the Chinese national flag to their vehicles. “When public order is chaotic and out of control, especially if the city is in serious turmoil, walking down the street can expose people to attack and traffic can be blocked,” — the embassy warned, noting that it is best to stay at home and stay away from windows and glass to avoid accidental injury.

Earlier, China's representative to the UN, speaking on Wednesday, called on all parties involved in the Ukrainian conflict to exercise restraint.

“Under the current circumstances, all concerned parties should exercise restraint and avoid any actions that could lead to escalation of tension,” — said Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, speaking at the plenary session of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in Ukraine. 

“China pays attention to the development of the situation in Ukraine. China's position on protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states has been consistent. The purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations must be jointly upheld,” — emphasized the ambassador.

Zhang Jun noted that at the same time, “we note that the problem of Ukraine is rooted in a complex network of historical and contemporary factors. The interaction of these factors brought the situation to this point. In the current context, all parties concerned should exercise restraint and avoid any action that could exacerbate tensions.

“China calls on all parties to recognize the importance of implementing the principle of indivisible security, continue dialogue and consultation, and seek reasonable solutions to resolve each other's problems through peaceful means based on equality and mutual respect. We welcome and encourage all efforts to promote a diplomatic solution,” — said the Permanent Representative of the PRC to the UN.

The Chinese press is discussing the effectiveness of Western sanctions imposed in connection with the Ukrainian crisis.

As the Global Times recalls, after the US and Europe unveiled what is believed to be the first round of sanctions against Russian individuals and entities in response to Moscow's recognition of two regions of Ukraine as “sovereign states”, China said unilateral sanctions have never been effective. ; in resolving global crises and warned the United States not to harm the legitimate interests of China and other countries in resolving issues related to Ukraine and Russia.

As the official representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at a press conference on Wednesday:  Our position is that sanctions are never a fundamentally effective means of solving problems. We consistently oppose all illegal unilateral sanctions.

Chinese analysts say Russia looked well-prepared for Western sanctions before Russian President Vladimir Putin signed two decrees on Monday recognizing the LPR and DPR as independent and sovereign states. With Russia's vast reserves of energy, including oil and gas, as well as rare metals, Moscow has measures in place to strike back, and its cooperation with China on payment systems could limit the impact of any Western sanctions.

But it is possible that US sanctions will target Chinese firms or institutions with ties to Russia, raising the risk of further disruption of ties between China and the US. China must be prepared to minimize possible damage to Sino-U.S. economic ties, as well as be prepared to retaliate against potential U.S. actions directed against China's legitimate interests, experts say.

Answering the question, “what China has played a role in mitigating the current crisis,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman replied that China has always made efforts to promote negotiations and bring peace to regional trouble spots. The US has been sending weapons to Ukraine, escalating tensions, creating panic and even fanning the possibility of war. On the contrary, China has always urged all parties to respect and attach great importance to each other's legitimate security interests: “The key question here is what role the US has played, the perpetrators of the current tensions around Ukraine. If someone continues to add fuel to the fire by blaming others for not doing their best to put out the fire, then such behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *