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China’s Hua Chunying Counters Media Needling on Beijing’s Foreign Policy with Respect to Ukraine

Feb. 24, 2022 (EIRNS)—At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press briefing today, reporters from AFP, Bloomberg, and Reuters repeatedly tried—and failed—to get the Ministry’s Director of the Department of Information, Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying to denounce Russia for its defense of the newly independent Donetsk and Luhansk republics. An example of her response:

“China is closely monitoring the latest developments and calls on all sides to exercise restraint and prevent the situation from getting out of control.

“I would like to stress once again China’s consistent position. We should pursue common, cooperative and sustainable security for all countries. The legitimate security concerns of all sides should be respected and resolved. We hope all sides will keep the door to peace open and continue to work for de-escalation through dialogue, consultation and negotiation and prevent further escalation.”

The call for all sides to exercise restraint mirrors the statements of China’s representative at the United Nations Security Council the night before on Feb. 23.

On the question of whether Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping discussed the special military operation when they met in Beijing on Feb. 4, Hua replied that, “Russia is an independent major country. It independently decides and implements its diplomacy and strategy based on its strategic judgment and interests. Russia does not need to get others’ consent before making diplomatic decisions and taking actions.”

France’s AFP, arguing that nations have a right to purchase weapons, demanded to know why China objected to the arms flooding Ukraine. “As to the right of sovereign countries to buy arms. I have a question for you. If two people near you are arguing and a fist fight seems to be coming next, what will you do? Hand one of them a gun, a knife, or some other sort of weapon? Or break up the fight with persuasion first and then get to know the whole story leading to the argument and helping them resolve the issue peacefully? It’s as simple as that. Weapons can never solve all problems. This is not the time to pour oil on the flame, but to put our heads together to come up with a way to put out the fire and safeguard peace.”

In response to another question, Hua further remarked:

“China believes that one country’s security cannot be at the expense of others’ security; still less should one country flagrantly undermine others’ sovereign security for one’s absolute security advantage. All countries’ legitimate security concerns should be respected. ...

“But ... outsiders should uphold objectivity and fairness, and see the complex historical merits as well as their interplay and evolution on the Ukraine issue. An unbiased mediator should not only see what is happening at the moment, but also the whole story. He should not only treat the symptom but also the root cause. That is why China has been calling on all parties concerned to exercise restraint and stay committed to resolving the issue through dialogue and negotiation.”

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