World

Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang signals closer ties with Russia; says US attempts to contain China will not succeed



BEIJING: Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang on Tuesday signalled closer ties with Russia, including dropping the US dollar and Euro in bilateral trade while asserting that America’s attempts to contain China will not succeed.
Addressing his first annual press conference here on the sidelines of China’s Parliament session, he said China will defend its core interests and oppose hegemony, bloc politics and unilateral sanctions.
Qin said China and Russia are ‘setting a good example for international relations’ and it was incorrect to see their close bilateral ties through a ‘Cold War perspective’. He defined China’s relationship with Moscow as “no alliance, no confrontation and not targeted at any third party”.
Asked about dropping the use of the US dollar and the Euro in China-Russia trade, Qin said China will use whatever currency is ‘efficient, safe and credible’.
“Currency should not be used as a trump card for unilateral sanctions,” he said. Russian media reports said the Chinese yuan overtook the US dollar as the most traded currency in the Russian market for the first time last month.
The yuan’s share in trading volume is around 40 per cent, while the US dollar’s share is just over 38 per cent.
On the Ukraine war, Qin said that the Ukraine crisis is in essence an eruption of problems in European security governance.
“There seems to be an invisible hand pushing for the traction and escalation of the crisis,” he said.
The Ukraine crisis is at a “critical juncture”, and calmness, reason and dialogue are needed, Qin said.
“The peace talks process should be opened immediately and the concerns of all parties should be respected, he said.
Qin who in December succeeded the long-standing foreign minister Wang Yi also said China will safeguard its security and development interests.
He also says China will maintain and strengthen ties with old friends.
As China’s domestic Covid-19 situation turns for the better, China has steadily resumed exchanges with foreign countries, and China’s diplomacy has pressed the “acceleration button”.
He sharply criticised the US saying that Washington’s attempts to contain China’s progress will not be succeeded.
Referring to the recent incident in which a US fighter plane shot down an unmanned Chinese balloon flying over American airspace, he accused the US of violating international law, overreacting and abusing force in shooting it down.
The US perception and views toward China are seriously distorted. Containing and suppressing China won’t make the US great, and it will not stop the rejuvenation of China.
On Taiwan, he said resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese people, and no other country should interfere.
The US speaks of the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, why not honour China’s sovereignty, he said asserting that Taiwan is an integral part of China.
Addressing the question of Taiwan he said “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one family which is called China.”
The people on both sides are “brothers and sisters,” he added.
On China’s diplomacy, he said China stands firmly against any form of hegemonism and power politics, against the Cold War mentality and camp-based confrontation, and against containment and suppression.


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