China’s representative to the United Nations has blamed the Ukraine war on “NATO’s continuous eastern expansion since the Cold War”, and called on the alliance to put aside the Cold War mentality and stop “being a troublemaker”.
“The Ukraine crisis is, in essence, the culmination of security conflicts in Europe closely related to NATO’s constant eastern expansion since the Cold War,” Zhang Jun said at the UN Security Council’s briefing session on Ukraine.
“We urge NATO to draw lessons from history, abandon the obsolete Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, and stop dangerous acts of creating imaginary enemies, destabilizing Europe, and messing up Asia-Pacific,” he said.
The alliance “should contribute positively to world peace and stability, instead of merely being a troublemaker”, he said.
According Zhang, “pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight”.
If such a mindset is followed, “Europe, and even the whole world, will be caught up in greater turmoil”, he said.
He further called on Russia and Ukraine to announce a ceasefire and resume peace talks as soon as possible, stressing that the US, the EU and NATO should also start comprehensive talks with Russia.
Zhang branded the alliance’s behavior “self-contradictory”.
“NATO, on the one hand, claims to remain a regional defensive alliance, while on the other hand, constantly seeks to breach its geographic confines and expand its agenda, stoke division, and tensions, create fears and confrontations and keep strengthening military and security ties with Asia-Pacific countries.”
Since the beginning of the war, Ukraine’s allies, including NATO member states, have sent Kiev tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons. Western countries have also imposed a slew of economic sanctions on Moscow.
US: Military channels with China cut
The US says military channels with China are closed after a recent balloon episode elevated tensions between the two countries to new highs.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also said it was not the “right time” for Secretary of State Antony Blinken to travel to China after he postponed a Feb. 5-6 trip.
President Joe Biden, however, wanted to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping when it was “appropriate”, Kirby added.
China cut off several military communication channels and other areas of bilateral dialogue after US officials visited the Chinese Taipei in August.
On Friday, reports said the Pentagon’s top China official, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Chase, arrived in Taiwan, beginning a visit that could exacerbate tensions between Beijing and Washington.
Chase would be the most senior US defense official known to have visited the island since 2019.
China, which views Taiwan as its own territory, has repeatedly demanded that foreign officials not visit the island.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated that the government was firmly opposed to official interactions and military ties between the United States and Taiwan.