On February 25, 2022, the Chinese outlet The Global Times uploaded to its YouTube channel a video of statements made by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying regarding the Ukraine conflict, America’s culpability in it, and the issue of Taiwan. In the statements, Hua said that the U.S. is the “culprit” behind the Ukraine-Russia tensions, that it has irresponsibly and immorally poured “oil on the flame” while “accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire,” and that it should think about how to put out the fire as soon as possible. She said that the U.S. drove NATO’s eastward expansion without considering the consequences of backing Russia into a corner, and she criticized American economic sanctions as an illegal and ineffective problem-solving tactic, calling instead for dialogue.
Arguing that China upholds international law and has been acting responsibly regarding the Ukraine conflict, Hua also said that China sees Russia as a strong country that doesn’t need China or others to provide it with weapons. In addition, Hua said that in handling the Ukraine issue, the U.S. must not harm Chinese interests, and she warned that it is “unwise” on the part of certain people in the Taiwanese government to “exploit” the issue of Ukraine to their advantage. She emphasized that Taiwan cannot be compared to Ukraine and that Taiwan has always been a part of China’s territory, stressing: “Taiwan independence only leads to a dead end.” Moreover, Hua said that the West is guilty of causing China “national humiliation” and that NATO still owes China a “debt of blood” for the Chinese nationals who were killed when NATO bombs struck the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia in 1999. In addition, Hua said that China faces a real threat from the U.S., which she said “wantonly” meddles in its domestic affairs and undermines its security and sovereignty in regions like Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Hua Chunying: “A key question here is what role the US, the culprit of current tensions surrounding Ukraine, has played. If someone keeps pouring oil on the flame while accusing others of not doing their best to put out the fire, such behavior is clearly irresponsible and immoral.[…]
“Certain countries should ask themselves: When the US drove five waves of NATO expansion eastward all the way to Russia’ doorstep and deployed advanced offensive strategic weapons in breach of its assurances to Russia, did it ever think about the consequences of pushing a big country to the wall?
“Our position is that sanctions are never fundamentally effective means to solve problems. We consistently oppose all illegal unilateral sanctions. You can see that, according to data released by the US Treasury, the US’ sanctions use increased ten times over the past 20 years. The previous US administration made as many as 3,800 sanctions designations, which means wielding the stick of sanctions three times per day on average. Since 2011, the US has imposed more than 100 sanctions on Russia.
“However, we can think and discuss calmly: have the US sanctions solved any problem? Is the world a better place because of those sanctions? Will the Ukraine issue resolve itself thanks to the US sanctions on Russia? Will European Security be better guaranteed thanks to the US sanctions on Russia? We hope relevant sides will give this some serious thought and strive to resolve issues through dialogue and consultation. I would also like to point out that the illegal unilateral sanctions by some countries including the US have caused severe difficulties to relevant countries’ economy and livelihood. When handling the Ukraine issue and relations with Russia, the US mustn’t harm the legitimate rights and interests of China and other parties.[…]
“It is unwise of certain people of the Taiwan authorities to latch on to and exploit the Ukraine issue to their advantage. Taiwan for sure is not Ukraine. Taiwan has always been an inalienable part of China’s territory. This is an indisputable historical and legal fact. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm governing international relations. The Taiwan region’s peace hinges on the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, rather than fawning on foreign forces for arms sales and military support. ‘Taiwan independence’ only leads to a dead end. No one shall have any illusion or make any miscalculation on this issue.[…]
“The Chinese people have deep understanding and strong feelings about state sovereignty and territorial integrity through first-hand experience. Recent history saw China invaded by Eight-Power Allied Forces and other colonialist powers, which left behind indelible poignant memories of national humiliation. Just a little more than 20 years ago, the Chinese embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was hit by NATO bombing, which killed three Chinese journalists and injured many more. NATO still owes the Chinese people in debt of blood. Even today, China still faces a realistic threat from the US flanked by its several allies as they wantonly and grossly meddle in China’s domestic affairs and undermine China’s sovereignty and security on issues including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan. China remains the only permanent member of the Security Council that has yet to realize complete national reunification. It is because of all these that China consistently and firmly upholds the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, firmly safeguards its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, and firmly defends international equity and justice.[…]
“On this issue, there is a fundamental difference between China and the US. When we see the risk of conflict, we won’t do the same as the US, who has offered Ukraine a large amount of military equipment. I believe that as a strong country, Russia doesn’t need China or other countries to provide weapons to it.[…]
“The US has been increasing tensions and hyping up war for some time. Do you know how many arms and ammunition the US has sent to Ukraine? From the very beginning, China has taken a responsible attitude and persuaded all parties not to escalate tensions or incite war. I think what China is doing is very responsible. Those who follow the US’ lead in fanning up flames and then shifting the blame onto others are truly irresponsible. As the culprit, the person who started the fire should think about how to put it out as soon as possible.”