Home POLITICS China’s Ambassador Fu Cong seeks to “depoliticise” relations with EU in context of Putin’s war against Ukraine

China’s Ambassador Fu Cong seeks to “depoliticise” relations with EU in context of Putin’s war against Ukraine

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has put Beijing 'in a very difficult position' as it doesn't want to choose between its friends, Russia and Ukraine, Newly arrived Chinese Ambassador to the EU Fu Cong said in an interview with South China Morning Post on December 23rd.

by gary cartwright
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The diplomat, who presented the copy of his Letter of Credence to European Council President Charles Michel as recently as December 13th, referred to the war initiated by Russia as a “so-called special operation” or “Ukrainian crisis” that has hurt China’s relations with the EU, which he wants to “depoliticise.”

“We see ourselves as a collateral damage, if you like, of that crisis,” Fu said.

Ambassador Fu Cong & Charles Michel, image by Chinese Mission to the EU

“Both Russia and Ukraine are good friends (of us), so we do not want to choose between friends. That is the starting point of our position,” he said.

He said the day after the Russian full-scale invasion had begun, a phone conversation was held between Chinese dictator Xi Jinping and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and during that conversation, Xi “clearly advocated trying to seek a peaceful solution.”

The ambassador, in an interview with Brussels-based journalist Finbarr Bermingham, also denied China had provided any military support to Moscow.

“Actually, our position has been quite balanced, you have to admit, and we are ready to engage in any peace efforts,” he said, while also repeating Russian propaganda narratives about the United States “profiting from this crisis.”

China hasn’t expressed open criticism of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, though in November Chinese dictator Xi condemned Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons.

At the beginning of December, Xi said that Europe and all Eurasian countries want to see an end to the war via peace talks. He said “it is necessary to avoid an escalation and expansion of the crisis.”

Meanwhile, U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported that Xi had ordered his government to establish even closer economic ties with Moscow.

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