Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on March 7 that China is all talk and no action when it comes to the Ukraine crisis, as Beijing refuses to condemn Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.
“Beijing talks a lot about the importance of upholding international order, stability, respecting sovereignty,” Blinken said in Vilnius during a joint press conference with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.
“But from its coercion of Vilnius to its failure thus far to condemn Moscow’s flagrant violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, today and in 2014, Beijing’s actions are speaking much louder than its words,” he said.
China gave tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. That support has included refusing to call Moscow’s attack an invasion and abstaining twice in United Nations votes.
Weeks before the invasion, China and Russia declared their partnership had “no limits,” following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
On Monday, China reaffirmed its partnership with Russia, when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two neighbors enjoyed a “rock-solid” relationship. When asked if Western sanctions against Russia could have an effect on bilateral ties, Wang said the relationship “is free from interference or discord sown by third parties.”
He added that the two nations will “steadily advance our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.”
Wang also said China was prepared to act as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia.
Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, questioned China’s desire to play the mediation role in a Twitter post on Monday.
“#China pretends it’s neutral on #Russia’s invasion of #Ukraine, but Xi Jinping has picked a side—#Putin’s,” Risch wrote. “China is only offering mediation to lessen int’l criticism of its ties with Russia. All those who #StandWithUkraine shouldn’t trust this.”
Landsbergis compared Russia’s motive for invading Ukraine to China’s coercion against Lithuania.
“Both cases are about defending a similar principle. One power is challenging the rules-based order when it comes to the borders of other countries, when it comes to geopolitics, when it comes to the security architecture of—one might say Europe,” he said.
Landsbergis added, “The other top power is trying to bend globally agreed rules of trade and is trying to use trade as a political instrument, in some cases even as a weapon, to force countries to change the course.”
The relationship between China and Lithuania began to deteriorate last summer, after Vilnius agreed to allow Taipei to open a representative office in the Baltic nation under the name of “Taiwan.” Beijing retaliated against Vilnius’ decision by downgrading its diplomatic ties with the Baltic nation.
The Chinese regime has also resorted to economic coercion tactics against Lithuania, including blocking Lithuanian goods in China’s ports.
Blinken made similar calls to China over the weekend, about the need for the regime to be vocal about the Ukraine crisis.
On March 5, he told Wang in a phone call that the “world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of freedom, self-determination, and sovereignty.”
A day later, Blinken told CNN that China needs to “stand up and make its voice heard.”
From The Epoch Times