EU condemns China’s support of Russia in Ukraine war


The European Union’s foreign policy chief on Tuesday lashed out at China for its support of Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine and called it “a blatant violation” of Beijing’s United Nations commitments. “There cannot be siding with the aggressor,” Josep Borrell said ahead of a trip to Beijing by the bloc’s top executive, Ursula von der Leyen. “There is a clear expectation from a permanent member of the (UN) Security Council to stand up in defence of international rules-based order, and China has a moral duty to contribute to a fair peace.”
Standing alongside visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Borrell was forceful in his condemnation of a nation that has increasingly moved from being an EU partner to being a rival on the global stage.
The comments come just ahead of a visit by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron to China, where both will press the point that EU-China relations will pivot on Beijing’s friendship with Russia. Macron and von der Leyen are set to warn China against sending weapons to Russia during talks with President Xi Jinping on Thursday. Just ahead of the visit, von der Leyen had a phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to coordinate strategy. Even if Beijing says it is neutral in the war, Xi’s visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow two weeks ago had all the visuals and speeches of a meeting among trusted friends.
“They agreed on the need to not deploy nuclear arms abroad,” Borrell said of the Moscow meeting. “Some days later, Russia deployed tactical weapons—nuclear tactical weapons in Belarus,” he added, referring to an announcement by Putin of plans to deploy such weapons. Borrell said he was looking for a change of heart in Beijing if relations were not to deteriorate.