Chinese FM Qin Gang signals closer ties with Russia; says US attempts to 'contain' China won't succeed

PTI | Beijing | Updated: 07-03-2023 15:34 IST | Created: 07-03-2023 15:22 IST
Chinese FM Qin Gang signals closer ties with Russia; says US attempts to 'contain' China won't succeed
Qin Gang Image Credit: Wikipedia
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Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday signalled closer ties with Russia, including dropping the US dollar and Euro in bilateral trade while asserting that America's attempts to ''contain'' China's rejuvenation will not succeed.

Addressing his first annual press conference here on the sidelines of China’s Parliament session, he said China will defend its core interests and oppose hegemony, bloc politics and unilateral sanctions.

Qin said China and Russia are “setting a good example for international relations” and it was incorrect to see their close bilateral ties through a “Cold War perspective”.

He defined China’s relationship with Moscow as “no alliance, no confrontation and not targeted at any third party”.

Asked about dropping the use of the US dollar and the Euro in China-Russia trade, Qin said China will use whatever currency is “efficient, safe and credible”.

“Currency should not be used as a trump card for unilateral sanctions,” he said.

Russian media reports said the Chinese yuan overtook the US dollar as the most traded currency in the Russian market for the first time last month.

The yuan’s share in trading volume is around 40 per cent, while the US dollar’s share is just over 38 per cent.

On the Ukraine war, Qin said that the Ukraine crisis is in essence an eruption of problems in European security governance.

“There seems to be an invisible hand pushing for the traction and escalation of the crisis,” he said.

The Ukraine crisis is at a “critical juncture”, and calmness, reason and dialogue are needed, Qin said.

“The peace talks process should be opened immediately and the concerns of all parties should be respected,'' he said.

Qin who in December succeeded the long-standing Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said China will safeguard its security and development interests.

He also says China will maintain and strengthen ties with old friends.

As China's domestic COVID-19 situation turns for the better, China has steadily resumed exchanges with foreign countries, and China's diplomacy has pressed the ''acceleration button”.

He sharply criticised the US saying that Washington’s attempts to contain China’s progress will not succeed.

Referring to the recent incident in which a US fighter plane shot down an unmanned Chinese balloon flying over American airspace, he accused the US of violating international law, overreacting and abusing force in shooting it down.

The US perception and views toward China are seriously distorted. Containing and suppressing China won't make the US great, and it will not stop the rejuvenation of China.

On Taiwan, he said resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese people, and no other country should interfere.

The US speaks of the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, why not honour China’s sovereignty, he said asserting that Taiwan is an integral part of China.

Addressing the question of Taiwan he said “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one family which is called China.” The people on both sides are “brothers and sisters,'' he added.

On China’s diplomacy, he said China stands firmly against any form of hegemonism and power politics, against the Cold War mentality and camp-based confrontation, and against containment and suppression.

On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping too weighed in to say that western countries led by the US have carried out all-around containment and suppression, which brought unprecedented and severe challenges to China's development.

Noting that the last five years have been ''extremely unusual and extraordinary'', he told the delegates of the NPC that China's external environment for development is changing rapidly, and there is an increase in uncertain and unpredictable factors and asked them to view China’s development in the last two years in that background, the official media reported.

Attacking the US, Qin said ''the US claims that it seeks to out-compete China but does not seek conflict. Yet in reality, its so-called 'competition' means to contain and suppress China in all respects, and get the two countries locked in a zero-sum game.'' Comparing China and the US to two athletes competing in an Olympic race, Qin said if one of the athletes, instead of focusing on giving one's best, always tries to trip or even injure the other, that is not a fair competition but malicious confrontation and a foul.

''If the US does not hit the brake but continues to speed down the wrong path, no amount of guardrails can prevent derailing and there will surely be conflict and confrontation,'' Qin said.

China is firmly opposed to such competition, which is a reckless gamble with the stakes being the fundamental interests of the two peoples and even the future of humanity, he said.

He also defended China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy, saying that there is no shortage of kindness and goodwill in China's diplomacy, but in face of ''jackals or wolves,'' Chinese diplomats would have no choice but to confront them head-on to protect the motherland.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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