Strip away the ruling Communist Party of China’s foreign policy of “peaceful co-existence” and you will find a walking, talking Frankenstein monster.
It comes in many shapes and forms such as cracking down on freedom of speech at home and trampling on the rule of law abroad.
Under “Chairman of Everything” Xi Jinping, the Party has tightened its grip on Chinese citizens and exported its dogma along with its exports across the globe.
Last week, China’s ambassador in Paris, Lu Shaye, parroted the sort of diplomatic drivel that has become the norm during Xi’s autocratic reign.
He questioned the sovereignty of not only Ukraine but all the former Soviet Republics, including the Baltic nations, in an interview with French television.
His remarks came in response to whether Crimea, which was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, was part of Ukraine.
“Even these ex-Soviet countries don’t have an effective status in international law because there was no international agreement to materialize their status as sovereign countries,” Lu said.
Fiction and friction:
- Disbelief and outrage followed Ambassador Lu’s controversial comments.
- The European Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell called the remarks “unacceptable.”
- They are also at odds with China’s official policy on “mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
- Eastern European nations and the Baltic countries forced into the Soviet Union empire were recognized as sovereign states by the United Nations after the fall of the USSR.
Between the lines: Even though Beijing has tried to row back on Lu’s diplomatic ineptitude, his comments illustrate the “no limits” partnership with Moscow. It also underlines China’s tacit backing for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Delve deeper: “If anyone is still wondering why the Baltic States don’t trust China to ‘broker peace in Ukraine,’ here’s a Chinese ambassador arguing that Crimea is Russian and our countries’ borders have no legal basis,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis wrote on Twitter.
Big picture: President Xi’s vague peace plan now looks as worthless as a sheet of used paper. Any trust Kyiv might have had in Beijing helping to end Putin’s war was blown away by Ambassador Lu’s hot air.
State of play: “If you want to be a major player, do not parrot the propaganda of Russian outsiders,” Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior Ukrainian presidential aide, wrote on Twitter.
China Factor comment: What seems remarkable is that anyone would believe the latest statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that China respects the “status of sovereign nations” that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union.