Chinese Diplomat Says China Is ‘Ready’ to Supply Aircraft Parts to Russia


A Chinese diplomat reportedly said that China is prepared to supply Russia with aircraft parts through “certain channels” that can bypass U.S. and European sanctions.

“We are ready to supply components to Russia; we are organizing such cooperation,” Chinese Ambassador to Moscow Zhang Hanhui told Russian news agency TASS.

“[Airlines] are currently addressing [it], they have certain channels, there are no restrictions from the Chinese side,” the diplomat added.

Zhang didn’t provide further information on those “certain channels.”

It’s noteworthy that Zhang’s remarks weren’t published on any Chinese official media. Chinese news portal NetEase was the only media that covered the story, but it was removed soon after it was published.

Earlier in March, Washington warned Beijing not to use the business opportunities created by Western sanctions against Moscow to help Russia circumvent export controls and financial restrictions.

Since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in February, Western countries banned the export, lease, and supply of aircraft and components to Russia as part of a raft of sanctions.

In response, Russia seized the foreign aircraft leased by airlines. Moscow passed a law allowing Russian airlines to re-register leased aircraft in Russia, in contravention of international rules.

A March 29 report by Cirium, a data source for the aviation and travel industry, revealed that Russia has 980 passenger aircraft in operation, 777 of which are leased from foreign countries. That means that those aircraft, which had no access to spare parts and were not properly maintained, have been operating under such poor condition for nearly four months.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded its aviation safety rating of Russia in April.

Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, expressed concern about the safety of Western-made aircraft continuing to fly in Russia. “This is very unsafe,” he told reporters at a conference on June 14, according to Reuters.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (C) reviews a military honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 8, 2018. (Greg Baker/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

China and Russia Deepen Mutual Cooperation

Zhang’s remarks were made in an exclusive interview with TASS during an international economic forum that Russia hosted on June 15–18 in St. Petersburg.

China was a vital guest of Russia’s annual forum but the regime’s head, Xi Jinping, attended the conference via video conference.

During the Sino-Russian business dialogue held on June 16, Zhang said that both sides have “deepened strategic supports and mutual interests in the fields of energy, nuclear energy, aviation, aerospace, and infrastructure,” Taiwan-based China Times reported on June 16.

Zhang also cited official figures, saying that in 2021, Sino-Russian bilateral trade reached a record high of more than $140 billion, and in the first five months of this year alone, it surpassed $65 billion, an increase of 28.9 percent from the same period of last year.

A day earlier, Xi said in a call with Putin that the two sides “will further develop military and military-technical ties,” VOA reported on June 17.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Xi’s ambition to unify Taiwan by force has drawn even more public attention.

Jennifer Bateman

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Jennifer Bateman is a news writer focused on China.



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CCP Bans Officials and Their Families From Business Activities


China’s ruling communist party (CCP) has issued a new regulation in the name of anti-corruption banning high-ranking officials and their families from big business activities. Experts pointed out that it’s related to the CCP’s factional infighting and economic problems.

According to the Chinese regime’s official media Xinhua, on June 19, the Central Committee of the CCP issued a document imposing a ban on the family members of senior officials who are above the bureau level from business. Officials spouses, children, and their children’s spouses are affected.

The officials must also report the business activities of their families every year. If officials or family members decide not to withdraw from their business activities, the officials must step down from their positions. Those who fail to do so will be “dealt with seriously in accordance with regulations and laws.”

The business activities include investing in enterprises or private equity funds, holding senior positions in private or foreign companies, and engaging in paid advisory or legal services.

A woman is seen leaving JP Morgan Chase & Company headquarters in New York, on Aug. 14, 2013. JPMorgan is just one of the Wall Street banks which employs relatives of CCP officials to get business in China. (Emmanual Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Cementing Obedience and Funds

Experts believe there are various reasons behind the CCP’s latest restrictions on the business activities of its officials.

Chen Weijian, editor-in-chief of political magazine “Beijing Spring,” told The Epoch Times on June 20 that Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s “zero-COVID” policy has met with resistance among local officials for its continued implementation. Meanwhile, local governments are following Premier Li Keqiang’s instructions to resume work and production to save China’s economy, leaving Xi feeling that his authority is being challenged.

“Especially when the CCP’s 20th Party Congress is approaching, if he wants to be re-elected, he must deter those who oppose him. Now, senior officials and their families are required to report their property and business. This is indeed a very big blow to them. It’s like that Xi Jinping controls them all. Anyone who is disobedient will be taken down by this anti-corruption regulation because now, which official and their relatives are not involved in corruption?” he said.

Wu Zuolai, a U.S.-based China scholar agreed with Chen’s analysis. He told The Epoch Times on June 20 that the investigation into the business activities of high-ranking officials and their family members would continue until the CCP’s 20th Party Congress, as a deterrent to Xi’s political opponents.

Wu said that another reason may also be that the CCP’s central government is facing a huge shortage in funds, and the regulation will force the family members of high-level officials to provide money to the regime.

“Because they did use their position and influence to amass huge wealth, especially in some sectors monopolized by the regime,” Wu said. “It’s easy for them to make billions or tens of billions, and it’s known within the CCP. There are thousands of cadres above the provincial governor level, if each of them cough up 100 million yuan ($15 million), then the regime will get 50 billion yuan ($7.46 billion). So they may be internally raising funds this way.”

Nin Haizhong and Luo Ya contributed to the report.

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Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.



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Biden, Mulling Tariff Decision, Will Talk Soon to China’s Xi

President Joe Biden said Saturday he plans to talk to Chinese leader Xi Jinping soon as he considers whether to lift some Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods.

Biden did not say when they might speak, but suggested he was getting closer to making a decision about the fate of the economic penalties.

“I’m in the process of making up my mind,” Biden told reporters in a brief exchange after a bike ride near his beach home in Delaware.

National security and economic aides are in the process of completing a review of the U.S. tariff policy and making recommendations to the president.

The tariffs imposed under President Donald Trump applied a 25% duty on billions of dollars of Chinese products. The penalties were intended to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and force China to adopt fairer practices.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently called for eliminating some of those tariffs as a way to fight inflation in the United States. Others in the Biden administration, i including U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, have raised concerns about easing tariffs when China has not upheld its agreements on purchasing U.S. products.

She said she saw the tariffs as “a tool in the economic policy toolbox” that could be considered, but alongside “a lot of other tools at our disposal.”

“What is of the utmost importance for us is to ensure that this medium-term strategic realignment that we know we need to accomplish is something that we are able to accomplish, and that nothing that we do in the short term undermines that larger goal,” Tai told The Associated Press in an interview last month.


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Getting Cut Off From Rest of World Is CCP’s ‘Greatest Fear’: Analyst


The “greatest fear” for the Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping is getting the country cut off from the rest of the world. But this is occurring, according to Gordon Chang, author and a senior fellow of Gatestone Institute.

Speaking on a recent “China Insider” program on EpochTv , Chang noted global companies have started shifting their factories out of China, as they hope to build more resilient supply chains.

“The world for economic reasons—not political, not geopolitical, but for economic reasons is doing that,” said Chang.

Companies are experiencing supply chain disruptions as the regime’s “zero-COVID” approach brought Shanghai and other Chinese cities to a halt. Millions are confined in their homes as authorities imposed lockdown and mass testing in regions where infections were recorded. The heavy-handed approach dented factory production and delayed the transportation of goods.

Yet it’s not just the strict COVID control measures prompting companies to move productions out of China. Chang said the Chinese regime’s ties with Russia also made current supply chains unreliable.

“It’s not going to be reliable because China is supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that is accelerating a division of the international system.”

China, whose ruling Communist Party declared a “no limits” partnership with Russia before the invasion, has attracted mounting criticism over its tacit support of Moscow throughout the crisis. The regime has so far declined to condemn Russia’s aggression, despite growing calls from the United States, European Union, and other countries.

While the regime’s policies have contributed to the decoupling, this trend is not in Beijing’s interests, according to Chang.

“This is not where China should want to be because China [is] the biggest beneficiary of the American-sponsored period of globalization and integration of China into the international system,” he said.

“It’s being driven by a number of things. But Xi Jinping is very much the author of this de-globalization.”

Chang said the Chinese leader warned the world not to cut the country off during a video speech to the annual Boao Asia Forum.

On April 21, Xi proposed what he called a new China-led “global security initiative,” which upholds principles including “indivisibility of security,” a key concept that Russia used to justify its assault on Ukraine. The Chinese leader said, “countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny … the thought of throwing anyone overboard is simply not acceptable.”

“When he [Xi Jinping] talked about indivisible security [it] actually betrayed his greatest fear, and that is the world decoupling from China,” Chang said.

“Really, what he was saying was that the world should not throw China overboard,” he added.

Though fearful of getting cut off, the Chinese leader would double down on policies currently on foot, such as zero-COVID and Beijing’s partnership with Moscow, if he gets the unprecedented third term in office at an important party conclave this autumn, according to Chang.

“I think that he will then double down on policies, which obviously are not good for the country, not good for the economy, and that means a bad end for China.”

‘Most Dangerous Period’

Chang suggested the world should decouple from the communist regime, though it’s difficult due to China’s large economy.

“I believe that the world needs to start protecting itself from China’s maliciousness, which means cutting off ties, no trade, no investment, no technical cooperation, cutting back diplomatic relations,” said Chang.

“I know that sounds risky…[but] the most dangerous and risky path is to continue with the policies that have landed us in this mess in the first place.”

“We could end up going from the best moment in history to the worst, but that’s because we’ve had these misguided assessments of China, which have translated into policy, which has pushed China to become more belligerent and have weakened our own defenses,” said Chang.

“I can’t think of a more dangerous situation than we are now short of actual war.”

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Dorothy Li is a reporter for The Epoch Times based in Europe.

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Xi Defends China’s COVID Zero Policy Amid Lockdown Chaos


Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping defended China’s strict COVID zero policy at a Beijing Winter Olympics Commendation Ceremony recently.

The experience of the Winter Olympics shows that China’s pandemic control policy has once again stood the test and deserved a gold medal, Xi said at the ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 8.

Xi said his speech amid a COVID-19 outbreak in China and mass complaints about indefinite lockdowns in major cities.

Shanghai and other places have been under lockdown for several days due to the severe COVID-19 outbreak.

The extreme measures under the “COVID zero” policy have caused crises in shutdown cities with people struggling for food while both COVID patients and people suffering from other illnesses have been unable to access medical care.

According to official announcements, most of the infected cases in mainland China are due to the Omicron variant with most patients being asymptomatic.

However, the strict measures have resulted in asymptomatic patients and those in close contact being concentrated in isolation points, which has resulted in parents and their young children being separated.

During his speech at the ceremony, Xi defended China’s strict epidemic prevention policies.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping (center left), and Premier Li Keqiang (center right) look on after presenting medals during a ceremony to honor the contributions to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at the Great Hall of the People on April 8, 2022. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

He said that China protected Winter Olympic participants and Chinese people from COVID-19 through strict implementation of prevention and control measures, including the “dynamically clearing” of the outbreak in cities.

“China’s pandemic prevention policy has once again withstood the test, providing a useful experience for the global fight against the pandemic and for holding major international events,” Xi said.

He also quoted foreign athletes as saying that if there is a gold medal for epidemic prevention, “China should get one.”

Epoch Times Photo
Policemen wearing protective gear are seen on a street during the second stage of a pandemic lockdown in Jing’an district in Shanghai on April 5, 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

Outside commentators believe Xi cannot quit the COVID zero policy with state media agency Xinhua saying he was “personally issuing commands and personally arranging deployments.”

China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party will hold its 20th National Congress this fall, and Xi is then expected to consolidate his third term as the regime’s leader.

Xi also announced that he would award 147 individuals, including Chinese-American Beijing Winter Olympics winner Eileen Gu who won two gold medals and one silver for China, the title of “Outstanding Contribution Individual for the Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics.

Gu’s citizenship caused controversy during the Winter Olympics since China doesn’t allow dual citizenship and claimed that Gu had given up her U.S. citizenship to represent China.

However, Gu never confirmed that she gave up her U.S. citizenship, even after being asked multiple times at press conferences.

She returned to the United States after the Winter Olympics with a fortune made from Chinese companies’ sponsorship and commercial activities while in China.

Epoch Times Photo
Gold medallist Eileen Gu, a U.S.-born athlete, celebrates with her medal on behalf of the Chinese team during the Women’s Freestyle Skiing Freeski Big Air medal ceremony on Day 4 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at the Beijing Medal Plaza in Beijing, China, on Feb. 8, 2022. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

 

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Alex Wu is a U.S.-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on Chinese society, Chinese culture, human rights, and international relations.





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‘Weak’ Policy of Biden Admin Hasn’t Changed China’s Stance One Bit: Lawmaker


President Joe Biden’s warning to China against aiding Russia has been soft and done little to deter Chinese aggression on the world stage, according to Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.).

“Biden is soft on China just like he’s been with every one of our adversaries throughout his presidency. It doesn’t appear Biden’s talk has changed China’s stance one bit,” Steube told The Epoch Times.

He was referring to Biden’s video call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on March 18 that saw Biden laying out “implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia” amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“This was the Biden Administration’s opportunity to exert strength to China. Once again, this White House sent mixed messaging,” Steube said.

Administration officials were tight lipped on details or progress made during the meeting, which ended without Biden securing any assurances from the Chinese side.

During press briefings, officials would not say if there would be “red lines” triggering actions against the Chinese regime, nor have Washington and its allies agreed on any consequences if China supports Russia economically or militarily in its war in Ukraine.

“It seems to me this should have all been decided before a critical call with President Xi,” Steube said.

Beijing had made clear its defiance even before the meeting, according to the lawmaker.

Shortly before the call, Beijing sailed an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, a 100-mile wide waterway dividing the Chinese mainland from self-governed island of Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party has repeatedly cast as a breakaway province to one day be reclaimed.

“The fact that China sent a warship into the Taiwan Strait just hours before coming face to face with Biden shows us China doesn’t seem to be intimidated by this weak administration,” Steube said. “Who would be?”

‘Weakness Breeds Aggression’

While the White House said the two hour call focused chiefly on the war, Taiwan was a clear priority on Beijing’s mind. The fate of the island took up nearly half of the one-page summary from China. Ukraine, by contrast, was mentioned merely in one paragraph.

During an interview midway through the Biden-Xi call, Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) similarly pointed to the passage of the Chinese warship through the Taiwan Strait, calling it “gravely concerning.”

“I’m not much for coincidences,” Rep. Lisa McClain told NTD, part of the Epoch Media Group.

She described the move as a “calculated message.”

“I don’t know how anyone can put a positive spin on that,” she said.

“It’s very true: weakness breeds aggression,” she added. “China is sending us a message, and it’s not a positive one.”

Calls for Sanctioning China

A worker in protective overall works near containers on a ship in Qingdao city in east China’s Shandong Province on Nov. 7, 2021. (Chinatopix via AP)

On Capitol Hill, the calls for punishing China for its alignment with Russia have been growing.

“It is clear that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are one and the same and we need to start applying the same types of rules to both of them,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times.

“The U.S. must impose consequences for any PRC support of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, whether it’s in the form of military assistance, financial support, sanctions evasion, or disinformation,” he said, using the acronym for the People’s Republic of China.

Biden initiated the talk with Xi following a leaked diplomatic cable alleging Chinese openness to giving military and financial assistance to Moscow, although both China and Russia have denied the claims.

Chinese diplomats have declared Beijing’s position “aboveboard” and “beyond reproach” on the Ukraine issue, but the regime’s alignment with Russia has been difficult to miss.

Xi had met with Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin and declared their partnership to have “no limits” less than three weeks before Putin launched the invasion. The regime has since refused to use the invasion label or join Western sanctions on Moscow. On Tuesday, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said that China “doesn’t want to be affected by sanctions.”

“We know that when Chairman Xi gave Putin the green light on this invasion, he asked Russia to hold off until after the winter Olympics,” Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told The Epoch Times.

UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT
Ukrainian soldiers search for bodies in the debris at the military school hit by Russian rockets the day before, in Mykolaiv, southern Ukraine, on March 19, 2022. (Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images)

Xi, he said, saw the attack “as a scout run for his seizure of Taiwan, and he wanted to see the U.S. humiliated and Europe destabilized.”

But the unexpectedly stiff resistance by Ukraine has dashed any hopes from Putin for a speedy victory, and the spate of Western sanctions that followed has been strangling his country’s economy.

The pains that Russia is feeling now should serve as a lesson to Xi, said Sasse.

“Chairman Xi doesn’t want to choose between Putin and international stability, but the CCP has made their sympathies known,” he said. “The CCP should expect the free world to hold them fully accountable for any material support they provide to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

Three lawmakers are already taking steps to make such sanctions happen.

On March 17, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced a bill to sanction Chinese financial institutions if they transact with any Russian banks that have been cut off from SWIFT, the global financial messaging network. Such acts, if allowed, would effectively give Russian firms a back-up bank for bypassing sanctions, the lawmakers said.

“We cannot allow China to become a safe haven for Russian firms seeking to avoid international sanctions,” Rubio said in a statement. After Biden’s call with Xi, Rubio took to Twitter to warn that the regime has no incentive to see Russia weakened, the latter being a necessary distraction to divert U.S. attention from the threats from China and to undermine America.

Scott held similar distrust toward Beijing.

“The Chinese Communist Party has proven again and again that it has no intention of playing by the rules,” he stated.

Eva Fu

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Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S.-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at eva.fu@epochtimes.com



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US–Taiwan Free Trade Agreement Would Bolster Island’s Defense Against China: Former Trump Official


Keith Krach, who was undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment during the Trump administration, said Washington could better boost Taiwan’s self-defense if the two sides ink a free trade deal.

“The thing with a free trade agreement does is, it kind of creates a halo effect, so that you get United States private sector investment and drives it,” Krach said. “And when the U.S. comes in, so do the allies. So we want to invest a lot in Taiwan.”

In other words, a Chinese invasion would essentially mean undermining U.S. assets in Taiwan, Krach said, during a recent interview with EpochTV’s “China Insider” program.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has fueled speculation that Chinese leader Xi Jinping might follow a similar roadmap to fulfill his own territorial ambitions for Taiwan, considering just months ago he vowed that “reunification” of Taiwan with China would “definitely be realized.”

Fueling the speculation is that Xi might be more emboldened now to attack Taiwan, believing that Russian President Vladimir Putin would reciprocate, given how much tacit support Beijing has shown toward Moscow in the ongoing Ukraine crisis. So far, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has refused to condemn Russia for its military aggression, but has also placed the blame of the war on the United States and its allies.

On Feb. 4, the day that Moscow and Beijing revealed their “no-limits” partnership, Russia also said it endorses China’s position on Taiwan as “an inalienable part of China” and opposes “any forms of independence of Taiwan.”

Taipei told Washington it had an interest in signing a free trade deal in June last year, when the two sides held the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council meeting. Signed in 1994, TIFA has been a platform for advancing bilateral trade issues.

There have been congressional pushes for such a deal. In March last year, 23 House Republicans, led by Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.), sent a joint letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to “begin formal negotiations on a free trade agreement with Taiwan.”

“A free trade agreement with Taiwan would allow the United States to begin countering CCP’s economic influence in the Indo–Pacific region,” the letter says.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR), in its annual report (pdf) released on March 1, said the Washington and Taipei were “committed to intensity engagement” in terms of trade. However, the report didn’t mention if signing a free trade deal was the goal or a possible timetable for talks in moving toward such a deal.

Taiwan is the United States’ ninth largest goods trading partner. According to USTR data, two-way goods trade topped $90.6 billion during 2020, while goods and services trade reached $105.9 billion.

Aside from a trade deal, Krach said Washington could also recognize Taiwan as an independent country, a call former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested during his recent visit to the island.

“We need to take advantage of this momentum, that this insane dictator Putin has created in terms of this movement of democracies, and we need to get an alliance of democracies, more than NATO, and companies, and civil society, all together to recognize the country of Taiwan,” Krach said.

Taiwan, a de facto independent entity, currently has 14 diplomatic allies in the world. The United States is not one of them, since Washington changed its diplomatic recognition in favor of Beijing in 1979.

“China’s strategy has always been divide and conquer, and pick on the weak gazelle that runs off from the herd,” Krach said.

He questioned what China would do if enough countries recognize Taiwan diplomatically.

“Are they just gonna go after every single country? They can’t go after every single country and company all at once,” he said.

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.

David Zhang

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David Zhang is the host of China Insider on EpochTV. He is currently based in New York and Washington DC covering China-related news. He focuses on expert interviews and news commentary on China affairs, especially issues regarding the U.S.–China relationship.



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China’s Xi Calls for ‘Maximum Restraint’ in Ukraine

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for “maximum restraint” in Ukraine and said China is “pained to see the flames of war reignited in Europe,” state media reported, in his strongest statement to date on the conflict.

Xi, speaking at a virtual meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, said the three countries should jointly support peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Xi described the situation in Ukraine as “worrying” and said the priority should be preventing it from escalating or “spinning out of control,” CCTV cited him as saying.

He also said France and Germany should make efforts to reduce negative impacts of the crisis, and expressed concern about the impact of sanctions on the stability of global finance, energy supplies, transportation and supply chains.

China, which has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine or to call them an invasion, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to what it describes as illegal sanctions on Russia.

China’s friendship with Russia, strengthened last month when President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on the same day that the countries declared a “no limits” strategic partnership, has become awkward for China as the war in Ukraine escalates.

Moscow describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to disarm its neighbor and unseat leaders it calls neo-Nazis. Ukraine and its Western allies call this a baseless pretext for an invasion to conquer a country of 44 million people.

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.



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China Needs to ‘Stand Up and Make Its Voice Heard’ on Ukraine Crisis: Blinken


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on March 6 that China has failed to live up to its own words about the “sanctity” of national sovereignty by not speaking up against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“China speaks often about the sanctity of this principle of sovereignty,” Blinken told CNN in an interview from Moldova on Sunday. “And so we would expect China, based on everything it’s said in the past, to stand up and make its voice heard.”

For years, the Chinese communist regime has preached about the “sanctity” and “sacredness” of its territory in order to fend off international criticisms of its policies in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang. Beijing uses the same rhetoric to justify its territorial claim over Taiwan, a de facto independent entity with its own liberal democratic government.

Officially, China has positioned itself as neutral in the war, saying it respects Ukraine’s sovereignty while recognizing what the communist regime describes as “legitimate security concerns” of Russia.

In reality, however, Beijing has taken a pro-Kremlin stance by refusing to condemn Russia’s military aggression or calling Russia’s actions an invasion. On Feb. 25, China abstained from voting on a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Moscow stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw its troops immediately.

On March 2, China again abstained from voting on a U.N. General Assembly resolution aimed at denouncing Russia over its Ukraine invasion and calling on Moscow to immediately withdraw its forces. The resolution was adopted with 141 of the 193 member states voting in favor.

“141 countries in the U.N. system came forward to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and to stand up for Ukraine,” Blinken said. “So we are looking to China to make its voice heard. That voice counts, and I hope that they’ll do that.”

Blinken’s remarks reflect Washington’s increased frustration over Beijing’s refusal to be more vocal against Russia’s invasion. Just one day earlier, Bliken put pressure on Chinese Foreign Minister Yi in a phone call, telling the Chinese diplomat that “the world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of freedom, self-determination, and sovereignty.”

There is already a sign that China is not going to work with the western coalition anytime soon. China’s hawkish state-run media Global Times, in an opinion article published on March 6, said the West should “change their attitude toward Russia” before China could mediate over a ceasefire.

The article also took a jab at the United States and the European Union, saying that the two have “nearly used up their ‘sanction cards’” on Russia. It then said: “They want to have China by their side but they must be aware that it is impossible.”

Over 1.53 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighboring countries as of March 5, according to data from the U.N. Human Rights Council. At least 365 civilians have also been killed since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24.

Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said over the weekend that he believes Beijing “has sufficient tools” to end Russia’s invasion, given the Chinese regime and Moscow “enjoys a special relationship.”

Russia and China declared their partnership had “no limits” on Feb. 4, after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The meeting culminated in a 5,000-word joint statement, in which the two leaders said there would be “no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation” between their nations.

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Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news in China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.



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China’s Xi Jinping: Inflation Is a Threat to Global Recovery

President Xi Jinping has warned the swell of inflation is threatening global economic recovery and placing “tremendous pressure” upon China, The Telegraph reported.

Speaking at the Davos summit, the leader of the world’s second-largest economy said the world is “emerging from the depth, yet it still faces many constraints” after the low inflation environment “notably changed.”

Xi, appearing online for the second year for the summit, called for coordination on global economic policy.

“If major economies slam on the brakes or take a U-turn in the monetary policies, there would be serious negative spillovers,” Xi stated. “They would present challenges to global economic and financial stability, and developing countries would bear the brunt of it.”

The Chinese president has insisted his nation’s economy will remain resilient amid headwinds but cautioned, “shifts in the domestic and international economic environment have brought tremendous pressure.”

“The fundamentals of the Chinese economy are unchanged; it remains resilient, has sufficient potential, and its long-term prospects are positive,” Xi said.

Xi’s comments come as China has unveiled further economic support to fight omicron while property market woes and a zero-COVID strategy have slowed the country’s growth to its weakest pace in 18 months. And economists believe China’s economy will be hit hard by the infectious omicron strain as it stands to test the zero-COVID strategy to the limit.

Additionally, experts believe the country’s Sinovac vaccine is less effective against omicron than its western counterparts, but China will still persist with a zero-COVID policy.

And Oxford Economics’ Louis Kuijs has warned pressure on growth due to China’s COVID-19 policies is likely to continue this year.

“China is unlikely to relax its zero-tolerance approach to COVID until late 2022 at the earliest,” Kuijs said. “As a result, we project disappointing consumption growth this year, especially in the first half.

On top of COVID, trouble in the property sector spurred on by the crisis earlier this year at Evergrande has added additional weight for the Chinese economy to carry, according to the report.

Economist Hao Zhou at Commerzbank said Chinese growth would face “tremendous pressure” in the short term, suggesting Beijing would likely unveil more economic support.

“While the policy easing might help ease the slowdown fears, the Chinese economy is still facing significant downside risks due to weak underlying demand,” Hao said.

The Telegraph reported “GDP rose by 4% year-on-year in the final three months of 2021, down from 4.9% in the previous three months. Forecasters warned that Beijing’s use of draconian lockdowns would mean a tougher year ahead for the world’s second-largest economy.”

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