Wang Yi: Minsk II “the only way”

Xinhua MSC coverage, Febr 19

Xinhua MSC coverage, Febr 19

Main link: FMPRC press release, Febr 19

On February 19 in the evening, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on invitation, took part in the 58th Munich Security Conference, gave a keynote speech by video link from Beijing. He answered the conference host’s questions concerning China’s approach and position concerning NATO eastward expansion, European security and the situation in Ukraine.


Wang Yi said that the Cold War has long ended. Being a result of the Cold War years, NATO should judge the hour and size up the situation and make necessary adjustments. If NATO blindly expanded eastward, will that be conducive for maintaining long-term peace and stability in Europe? This is a question our European friends should seriously reflect on.


Wang Yi emphasized that all countries’sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity ought to be respected and protected as this was a fundamental standard in international relations, reflecting the United Nations Charter’s objectives. It was also a principled position that had always been upheld by China, and Ukraine was no exception. If anyone doubted China’s position on this issue, that was just a hype with ulterior motives, and a distortion of China’s position.


Wang Yi said that as a permanent Security Council member, China had always decided on its position based on the merit of the issue itself, thus handling international matters. China believed that concerning the Ukraine issue, one should get back to the Minsk II starting point. As this agreement was binding,  agreed upon by all parties after negotiations, and obtained the Security Council’s approval, it was the only way to solve the Ukraine issue. According to our understanding, both Russia and the European Union support Minsk II, and when I had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Blinken recently, America also expressed support. As that’s the case, why can’t the parties sit down together for a full discussion, produce a roadmap and a timetable towards a workable protocol? What every party needs to do now is to earnestly assume responsibility, make efforts for peace, rather than blindly pushing up raising tensions, creating panic and make war.


As for the prospects of solving the Ukraine issue, Wang Yi said that Ukraine should become a bridge, connecting East and West, rather than a frontline state in the confrontation of powers. As for European security, all sides could raise their own concerns, with Russia’s reasonable security concerns being respected and taken seriously. China expected that all sides should find a solution through dialog and consultation.


2 Comments to “Wang Yi: Minsk II “the only way””

  1. The issue of whether or not Russia co-ordinated its attack on Ukraine with China in any way has been discussed a few times in the past day. On the one side is the apparent surprise of some Chinese analysts who don’t seem to have expected this attack. On the other are a number of circumstantial pointers, including the deal to import more gas arranged during the Olympics, the fact that Russia has (unlike the attack on Georgia in 2008) waited until after the Olympics are over to attack, and the lack of even the kind of muted condemnation that might have been expected from China in the past.

    I think we can fairly easily dismiss the “China is going to attack Taiwan today or this week” tendency – nothing points to this. Did Putin ask China for support, though, even if he didn’t tell them about the invasion? Well, this seems much more likely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s the kind of stuff we won’t find in communiqués. There was spare mention (sometimes none) in FMPRC releases, even though the Kremlin said that Putin had raised those topics. Putin’s support for “the Taiwan issue” on the other hand was given many lines in Chinese press releases.
    This researcher – Wan Qingsong – was definitely surprised. Might try to catch up with further articles.
    The point in the Sino-Russian “united front” is of course multi-dimensional, but in their hieararchy of objectives, keeping each other safe from UNSC sanctions isn’t one of the minor ones, I guess.
    Even if China’s statements were stronger, they wouldn’t mean a thing.


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