China’s vice foreign minister blames NATO for stoking the instability that led to the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Flags of NATO member countries © DigitalGlobe / AP / Olivier Matthys
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said that globalization should not be “weaponized” while military bloc politics must be “rejected,” a day after US President Joe Biden warned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping of “consequences” if Beijing supported Russia’s military action in Ukraine.
Speaking at the Fourth International Forum on Security and Strategy in Beijing on Saturday, the Chinese official agreed with Moscow’s assessment that NATO’s unchecked expansion in Eastern Europe and the failure to address Russia’s national security concerns paved the way to the current crisis, saying that a simple “commitment of no eastward expansion could have easily ended the crisis and stopped the sufferings.”
“Instead, one chose to fan the flames at a safe distance, watching its own arms dealers, bankers and oil tycoons make a fortune out of the war while leaving people of a small country with the wounds of war that would take years to heal,” he said.
NATO’s pursuit of “absolute security” leads to “absolute non-security,” Le added.
Moscow has vehemently opposed NATO’s presence close to its borders, and embarked on a mission to obtain written guarantees that would halt the US-led military bloc’s expansion and bar Ukraine from joining its ranks. However, the West ignored Russia’s concerns.