US State Secy Antony Blinken calls on China to ‘stand up’ against Russia’s war in Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday, July 9, on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers summit in Bali. Blinken said that he called on Wang Yi to “stand up” against Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine and condemn the aggression. Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Wang Yi, Blinken said that China claims to be “neutral” and added that he does not think China is neutral as it supported Russia in the United Nations and “amplified Russian propaganda.”

“I tried to convey to the State Councillor is this really is a moment where we all have to stand up, as we heard country after country do in the G20, to condemn the aggression,” Antony Blinken told reporters.

Antony Blinken said that the US is concerned with China’s alignment with Russia. Blinken said that Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the “no limits partnership” with his Russian counterpart in February. He even mentioned the recent call between Xi Jinping and Putin as evidence of China’s support for Russia. He said that China has been echoing Russian propaganda across the world, “shielding Russia in international organisations.” US State Secretary Blinken said that China has been conducting joint military exercises with Russia and even cited the recent “strategic bomber patrol in East Asia.”

Speaking to reporters, Blinken called it “hard” to remain neutral when it comes to military offensive and stressed that “there is a clear aggressor and a victim.” Blinken said that he tried to convey to Wang Yi the need to call on Russia to allow access to the food that has been stuck in Ukraine due to the blockade and to end the war. The meeting between Wang Yi and Blinken comes at a time when the war between Russia and Ukraine continues for more than 130 days.

“Now, what you hear from Beijing is that it claims to be neutral. I would start with the proposition that it’s pretty hard to be neutral when it comes to this aggression. There is a clear aggressor. There is a clear victim,” Antony Blinken told reporters. “I don’t think that China is, in fact, engaging in way that suggests neutrality. It supported Russia in the UN; it continues to do so. It amplified Russian propaganda,” Blinken added.

Antony Blinken’s meeting with Wang Yi

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he discussed regional and global issues, including the Russia-Ukraine war and North Korea’s nuclear program with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. According to Blinken, they talked about the areas where the cooperation between US and China could be possible, including the climate crisis. He said that he raised concerns of the United States regarding China’s “increasingly provocative rhetoric and activity” regarding Taiwan and “repression of freedom in Hong Kong, forced labour, the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Tibet, the genocide in Xinjiang.”

Image: AP