Ambassador Qin Gang publishes an article entitled “The Ukraine Crisis and its Aftermath” on the National Interest of the People’s Republic of China_Embassy of the United States

Ambassador Qin Gang publishes an article entitled “The Ukraine Crisis and its Aftermath” on the National Interest of the People’s Republic of China_Embassy of the United States

On April 18, 2022, Ambassador Qin Gang published an article entitled “The Ukraine Crisis and Its Aftermath” on National Interest. The full text is as follows:

The Ukraine crisis is painful. One more minute, the conflict lasts, means another setback for the 43 million Ukrainians. Ending this unwanted conflict as quickly as possible is more important than anything else.

China loves peace and is against war. It is committed to upholding international law and universally recognized norms that govern international relations and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine. China supports all efforts to provide a ceasefire and address the humanitarian crisis on the ground, and will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.

Lessons must be learned. As we work to end this conflict, we must also think seriously about the changes that the crisis has brought about and the way forward in its aftermath.

The post-war international system comes under the greatest pressure since the Cold War. The pandemic once in a century, the Ukraine crisis and the unique sanctions, rising inflation and a looming recession, all this has sounded the alarm for the “boiler” of the international system. It is high time for us to reduce the pressure, not the other way around, for our common world.

Europe is in focus for all the pressure in the crisis. Its prospects for stability and prosperity were apparently damaged from one day to the next and replaced by enormous moments of uncertainty. To reverse this situation, there must be not only an end to this war, but also a fundamental response to lasting peace and stability in Europe and a balanced, effective and sustainable philosophy and architecture for its security.

The contradictory shifts over the thirty years at the two ends of the Eurasian continent should shed light on how security can be ensured for Europe and the world. After the Cold War, when Europe chose to use NATO’s expansion to the east to maintain security, on the other side of the continent, China, Russia and the Central Asian countries embarked on the Shanghai Five Mechanism, in an unprecedented exploration of a new security philosophy and – model. In 1996, when President Bill Clinton first announced a timetable for NATO enlargement in Detroit, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan signed a treaty deepening military confidence in border regions that resolved China’s border issues with former Soviet Union countries. once and for all and put an end to military standoff along the border between China and the Soviet Union. The cornerstone of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is thus laid, and the “Shanghai spirit”, i.e. mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and the pursuit of common development have been established. As such, neighborly friendship and mutual peace have prevailed between China, Russia and the Central Asian countries. As the story goes, different choices lead to different results.

The Ukraine crisis has also put US relations with both Russia and China to new tests. In 1992, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin paid his first visits to the United States and China after the Soviet dissolution, the countries agreed not to consider each other as adversaries, which basically put Russia’s bilateral relations with the United States and China on the same level. Over the last thirty years, relations between China and Russia have made great progress, but it is still based on non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third countries. China has been and will remain an independent country that decides its position according to the merits of each case, immune to external pressure or interference. The allegations about China’s prior knowledge of Russia’s military action or China providing military assistance to Russia are pure disinformation. Had similar conflicts taken place elsewhere or between other countries, China’s position would not have been different. At the same time, relations between the United States and Russia are slipping into a new Cold War, which is not in the interests of either China, the United States or Russia, and which is not what China wants to see. After all, a worse relationship between Russia and the United States does not mean a better relationship between China and the United States, and in the same way, a worse relationship between China and Russia does not mean a better relationship between the United States and Russia either. More importantly, if the relationship between China and the United States is messy, it does not bode well for the relationship between Russia and the United States or for the world.

Worryingly, as the crisis continues, some people are using the stick of sanctions against China to force the renunciation of its independent foreign policy of peace. Some shout about a “Beijing-Moscow axis” in a dangerous misinterpretation of the relationship between China and Russia and ask China to bear responsibility for the crisis. Some associate Taiwan with Ukraine and play up the risk of a conflict across the Taiwan Strait. Still others, despite all the lessons to be learned, inflate misunderstandings, confrontations and insecurities in the Asia-Pacific region, without a bit of care, should this region follow in Europe’s footsteps. These words and actions are not useful in resolving the crisis or ensuring the stability of relations between China and the United States. Pulling everyone down does no good to our future generations.

Ukraine knows best how the post-war international system was built. More than seventy years later today, its future is once again closely linked to that of the world. Although we are not currently able to reach a consensus on what kind of international system we want, last century’s “scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought unspoken grief to humanity”, and the alienation of the following four decades. inform us that we all live in a common world with a common future. It is out of the question for any country or bloc to have absolute security while ignoring the security of other countries. Without respect, trust, mutual adaptation and cooperation, the world would never be peaceful. It does not need and can not afford another cold war in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

China and the United States should not only work together to tackle global warming, but also seek maximum common ground to deal with the cooling of the international political climate. Differences in the perception of the crisis do not justify unfounded accusations or pressure and should not hinder our joint efforts to end the crisis. I have been in close communication with American colleagues about it. At the same time, China and the United States should take a long-term perspective and have pragmatic and constructive dialogue, coordination and cooperation for what comes our way outside and after the crisis. In this way, we can create a system of lasting peace and stability in Europe that is acceptable to all parties; resolve other global hotspots correctly; prevent and manage the impact of the crisis on the global economy and trade, finance, energy, food and industrial and supply chains; and minimize the losses to the economy and people’s livelihoods. The current international system is not perfect. It must make progress over time, and China is committed to supporting and contributing to this process, not to undercut or destroy it. Ultimately, our common goal is lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity for the 1.8 billion Chinese and American people and the world population of 7.8 billion. This is the historical responsibility of China and the United States as two major countries.

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