China has openly come out in support of Russia against the Western powers in Ukraine crisis. That’s quite unusual considering Beijing has been reluctant to back Moscow over Ukraine. A top Chinese diplomat said Friday that the Western powers should take into consideration Russia’s security concerns over Ukraine.
China asks the West to abandon the zero-sum mentality
Qu Xing, China’s ambassador to Belgium, said in an interview with the state-run Xinhua that the Ukraine issue stemmed from the country’s internal problems. But it escalated mainly due to the competition between the West and Russia. Without “external intervention from different powers,” the problem would not develop into a serious crisis, he added.
Xing urged the West to “abandon the zero-sum mentality” with Russia. Otherwise, Kremlin would feel anxious that the West, including the U.S. and European Union, was squeezing its geographical space “by extending influence in eastern European countries.” Russia claims that the former Soviet states come under its “sphere of influence.” But many of those countries have joined NATO, diminishing Kremlin’s influence. That’s one of the reasons Vladimir Putin has blamed the West for Ukraine crisis.
China taking sides with Russia?
The Chinese diplomat said that Russia would feel it was being treated unfairly if the Western powers did not change their approach. Xing warned that the U.S. involvement in Ukraine crisis would be a big distraction in its foreign policy, including its “Asia re-balancing strategy.” Until now, China has cautiously avoided getting involved in the struggle between the West and Russia over Ukraine’s future.
The U.S. and European Union have criticized Moscow for backing separatists in eastern Ukraine. Last week, Ukraine accused Russia of sending more troops and tanks into the eastern Ukraine. Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western countries of trying to impose their ideology on the rest of the world.
Ukraine crisis has plunged the U.S.-Russia relations to their lowest level since the Cold War.