China says Ukraine crisis ‘sounded the alarm bell for humanity’

BEIJING – Chinese leader Xi Jinping said on Wednesday that the conflict in Ukraine had “sounded the alarm for humanity,” as China continues to take a neutral stance while supporting its ally Russia.

China has refused to criticize Russia’s war in Ukraine or even refer to it as an invasion out of respect for Moscow, while also condemning US-led sanctions against Russia and accusing the West of provoking Moscow.

The Ukraine crisis has once again sounded the alarm bell for humanity. China’s Xinhua News Agency quoted Xi as saying that countries will certainly face security difficulties if they place blind faith in their positions of strength, expand their military alliances, and seek their own safety at the expense of others.

Xi, who did not propose any solutions, was speaking at the opening of a virtual business forum of the “BRICS” countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

In other comments, Xi said imposing sanctions could be a “reversion” and a “double-edged sword”, and that the global community would suffer from “politicizing, mechanizing and weaponizing” global economic trends and financial flows.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro maintained an unusual diplomatic tone in his brief recorded speech to the forum, extolling the results of his administration without naming any other country.

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“The current international context is a cause for concern due to the risks to trade and investment flows to the stability of energy supply chains and investment,” he said. “Brazil’s response to these challenges is not inward-looking. On the contrary, we have sought to deepen our economic integration.”

Xi also said that China will seek to limit the damage to international supply chains caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which it has faced with a tough policy of lockdown and quarantine, despite the decreasing number of cases and increasing economic cost.

China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy and drive to dominate global markets has led to a backlash in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, including calls to replace Chinese suppliers and reduce dependence on the Chinese economy.

Xi called on countries to work together on such issues, saying efforts to “build a small courtyard with high walls” are not in anyone’s interest.

“Economic globalization is an objective requirement for the development of productive forces and an irresistible historical trend,” Xi said.

He said, “Going back in history and trying to cut others in will only block your way in the end.”

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