Beijing initially avoided clearly supporting the Russian initiative in Donbass. But, to read certain comments and statements, more clear-cut positions emerge, which necessarily express certain internal positions in power.
Hu Xijin, former editor of the newspaper Huanqiu Shibao and its English edition GlobalTimes for sixteen years, believes that the responsibility for the Ukrainian crisis lies with the United States and theNATO. “Donetsk and Lugansk are two republics established by Russians since 2014” : Ignoring Beijing’s pleas for restraint on this topic, Hu Xijin, one of China’s most fearsome propagandists, called on WeChat a “republics” these two breakaway territories in eastern Ukraine.
“They are armed and supported by Moscow”, argued Hu, adding that“they have long since escaped the jurisdiction of Kiev”. Despite his withdrawal from his editorial responsibilities, Hu Xijin inevitably reflects in his writings certain positions existing within power. The Chinese press remains very constrained, particularly when it comes to international and diplomatic news.
A deeply divided Europe
According to Hu Xijin, although the West remains united in its condemnation of Russia’s latest actions in Ukraine, it is however “torn” as to how to react concretely, because “the positions of Western countries are very different”.
Regarding the Old Continent, Hu believes that the Ukrainian crisis “again completely divided Europe”. He specifies :
By strengthening the Russian-Belarusian alliance and effectively commanding Donetsk and Luhansk, Russia has formed a new gathering of forces in part of Europe.
Therefore, he asserts that European countries will become more dependent on NATO. The clash between the two camps will last for a long time, and the United States will make the most of its strategic plan: it will be able to retain the loyalty of European countries, exercise the “prestige of the boss”, all against a much weaker Russia. than the Soviet Union in its time.
Faults of the United States and NATO
The ex-official Chinese propagandist positions himself clearly on the side of Russia, considering it as “a cornered polar bear [par l’Occident]”. He denounces “expanding” from NATO to the east, which “is an intimidation too many” for the Kremlin:
This temptation to extend NATO to the borders of Russia has betrayed the initial verbal commitment of the United States”.
According to Hu Xijin, the latter had promised not to bring the former countries of the Warsaw Pact and the former Soviet Union into NATO.
For his part, Hua Chunying, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed a position very close to that of Hu Xijin, reports the official site. Zhongguo Xinwen Wang. During his February 23 press conference, Hua said that “the option of a peaceful solution is not completely closed”, before scolding the West, as if to justify Russian action:
Some countries should have reconsidered, when the United States violated the agreement with Russia five times to expand NATO eastward to Russia’s doorstep, and deployed advanced offensive strategic weapons. Did they ever think of the consequences of pushing a great power to the brink?”