The Dutch defence minister rejected China’s claim that the Russian war against Ukraine is the result of Europe’s fractured security architecture.
China put European tolerance to the test, with an experienced Chinese diplomat Cui Tiankai attributing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to Europe’s ‘failed security architecture’.
Dutch Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren objected to that view of the Kremlin’s colonial war.
“I was surprised to hear it,” Ollongren told POLITICO after responding to the ex-ambassador Cui Tiankai on a panel at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. “It’s very, very false.”
Cui, a former US envoy and unofficial adviser to China’s delegation at this top Asian security forum, declared during the event that Europe had shown little success in safeguarding the continent’s security and that the other countries at the summit should instead learn from China and Asia.
“We used to look to Europe for regional integration experience.” But currently, people in Europe might look to us instead,” Cui told the audience. “We don’t impose our ways on you, but maybe you can learn something useful from our experience, from our success,” he claimed.
“And our region should learn something essential from your failure.” “I don’t want to use the word’ failure,’ so a lack of success,” added Cui.
Ollongren disputed Cui’s claim. “The ambassador suggested that Europe has not managed its security very well as a result of the war in Ukraine.” Of course, I recognize that there is a war in Ukraine, but it is not the result of our mismanagement of Europe’s security situation. It is the effect of failing to respect the way we want to manage security in Europe,” added the Dutch minister.
European policymakers have become more sceptical of China over connections with Russia and military technology advances. Ollongren stated after the panel that Cui had offered a “false view of the situation.”
“You cannot hold Europe or European countries responsible for Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” she stated.
Ollongren noted that because Cui is no longer an ambassador, she will await Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu’s presentation to clarify the official stance of Beijing.
Chinese diplomats: controversial statements on Europe
It’s not the first time Chinese diplomats have made controversial statements about Europe. In April, the Baltic states summoned Chinese ambassadors to their foreign ministries over a comment about the sovereignty of post-Soviet countries and declared that such a position was unacceptable.
Some “ex-Soviet Union countries” do not have effective status under international law, Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye said in an interview.
China’s envoy visited Ukraine but failed to find ground for talks
Chinese Special Envoy Li Hui met President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine and told
him there was no panacea for the “crisis”, and that ending the war would require “creating conditions for a ceasefire and peace talks.”
China still calls the war that Russia launched against Ukraine a ‘crisis’, which shows a sign of bias in their position.
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin a month after releasing a vague peace plan. Beijing is trying to position itself as a potential mediator in the war. China’s position has been met with scepticism from the West, which does not believe in its impartiality and neutrality, given Beijing’s relationship with Moscow.
New EU sanctions will target states that help Russia evade them
The EU’s strategy is to introduce more sanctions and force Putin’s regime to stop the war against Ukraine.
The European Union has been discussing the creation of a new system of sanctions against third parties that do not do enough to stop Russia from evading the existing sanctions, particularly those that are unable to explain the sudden rise in trade in essential products or technologies.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the new EU sanctions package against Russia contains restrictions against several foreign companies that help Moscow evade sanctions. According to von der Leyen, “about eight” of these companies are registered in China.