US and China issue separate statements following a virtual dialogue between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping (file photo)
WASHINGTON: “Whoever tied the bell to the tiger must take it off” and “It takes two hands to clap.” With these simple dictates, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday rejected US President Joe Biden’s efforts to pressure Beijing to abandon Russia on the Ukraine issue, while implicitly blaming Washington and its NATO allies for the crisis.
The two aphorisms were quoted in a 1030-word statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry following a video call between the two leaders that was an unalloyed dismantling of U.S. policy on both Russia’s and China’s fronts. While almost half of the statement was about Beijing’s unhappiness over what they see as Washington’s shifting mood towards Taiwan, China also pushed back on the Western narrative of blaming Russia only for the crisis, stressing the need to address Russia’s security concerns. for NATO.
“All sides need to jointly support Russia and Ukraine in having dialogue and negotiations that will produce results and lead to peace. The United States and NATO should also engage in dialogue with Russia to address the core of the Ukraine crisis and ease security concerns. both Russia and Russia., and Ukraine, “the Chinese statement read.
Both in its censorship tone and length, the statement provided a stark contrast to the White House’s short 165-word reading of the call, which said “President Biden detailed our efforts to prevent and then respond to the invasion, including by imposing costs on Russia.” “He (Biden) described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it carries out brutal attacks on Ukrainian cities and civilians,” the White House statement said without elaborating.
In an apparent rejection of the threat, China’s statement warned that “sweeping and arbitrary sanctions would only make the people suffer.” “If they escalate further, they could trigger serious crises in the global economy … There is always a need for political courage to make room for peace and make room for political solution,” it said, citing the two Chinese proverbs.
In an apparent reference to Beijing’s unrest over U.S. utterances over Taiwan, amid some circles’ fears that China would make a Ukraine against Taiwan, the White House said Biden reiterated that U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed, and he stressed that the United States continues to oppose any unilateral change in the status quo. An official later said Biden also stressed US concerns about “Beijing’s coercion across the Taiwan Strait.”