Chinese Ambassador to Europe On the eve of beginning an invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing in February of last year, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and jointly released a statement. According to the statement, “China and Russia’s comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has reached the highest level in history.”
This cordial and cooperative relationship was later summed up by Chinese officials as the “Three Noes,” or “no restricted zones, no upper limit, and no limit.” The prolonged meetings with Putin, who was designated a war criminal by the Hague International Criminal Tribunal for initiating an aggression war, during Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow under intense international pressure, starkly illustrated the tight ties between China and Russia.
The Chinese ambassador to the EU, Fu Cong, openly declared on Thursday (April 6) in an interview with the New York Times that the “three noes” cited by the Chinese side had been “distorted” by individuals and that China and Russia’s relationship had not yet reached that point. He stated unequivocally that China is not supporting Russia in the conflict and noted that some people “deliberately misinterpret this because of the so-called ‘endless’ friendship or relationship.” The phrase “no end” is purely rhetorical, he added.
In addition, Fu Cong asserted that China does not support Russia militarily or acknowledge its takeover of Crimea and the Donbas region as part of Ukraine.
Fu Cong also made a point of explaining China’s unwillingness to denounce Russian aggression during the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which has drawn criticism from the general public. He claimed that China did not criticize the invasion because Beijing believed “the core causes of war are far more complex” than Western leaders claim and because Beijing could comprehend Russia’s arguments about protecting against NATO aggression.
Beijing’s definition of Sino-Russian ties was significantly altered by Fu Cong’s words. Such significant changes can only be made by the CCP’s senior official, Xi Jinping, an ambassador abroad, in accordance with established CCP protocol. I don’t have the confidence or the right to carelessly voice my personal opinions on such a serious matter.
When French President Macron and European Commission President Von der Leyen were set to begin their visit to China, Fu Cong made this declaration to the outside world. Its goal is clear: to change Westerners’ more pessimistic perceptions of China as a result of Xi Jinping’s trip to Russia in order to increase European investment in China.
According to the New York Times, von der Leyen recently stated in a speech that the EU and China’s relationship has grown “more estranged and difficult” and that China is attempting to assert itself as “the world’s number one power” by taking a more aggressive role in international affairs.
Fu Cong acknowledged that he agreed with Von der Leyen’s assertion and her viewpoint regarding the need to “de-risk” relations with China, but he asserted that “de-risking” is the “should,” while “decoupling” or “withdrawal” are incorrect.