On the evening of 19 February 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi was invited to attend the China session of the 58th Munich Security Conference via video link in Beijing, and delivered a keynote speech. The State Councilor answered the moderator’s questions on China’s attitude and position regarding NATO’s eastward expansion, the security of Europe and the situation concerning Ukraine.
Wang Yi noted that since the Cold War is long gone, NATO, a product of the Cold War, needs to adapt itself to the changing circumstances. If NATO keeps expanding eastward, will this be conducive to peace and stability in Europe, and will this contribute to long-term stability in Europe? This is a question that merits serious consideration by European friends.
Wang Yi stressed that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and safeguarded. This is a basic norm of international relations that embodies the purposes of the UN Charter. It is also the consistent, principled position of China. And that applies equally to Ukraine. If anyone questions China’s attitude on this matter, it is ill-intended sensationalization and a distortion of China’s position.
Wang Yi stated that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has always decided on its position and approached international affairs based on the merits of issues. On the Ukrainian issue, China believes that it is imperative to return to the Minsk II agreement, the starting point of this matter, as quickly as possible. The agreement is a binding instrument negotiated by the parties concerned and endorsed by the UN Security Council, and provides the only viable way out. State Councilor Wang noted that to his knowledge, Russia and the EU both support Minsk II, and in his recent telephone call with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, the US side also expressed its support. In this context, shouldn’t the relevant parties sit down together for a thorough discussion to work out a roadmap and timetable for the implementation of the agreement? What all parties need to do now is to earnestly shoulder responsibilities and work for peace, instead of increasing tensions, stoking panic, or hyping up war.
As for the prospect of the issue, Wang Yi stressed that Ukraine should be a bridge for communication between the East and the West, not a frontier for confrontation between major powers. Regarding the security of Europe, all parties are free to raise their own concerns, and Russia’s reasonable security concerns should be respected and taken seriously. China hopes all parties will pursue dialogue and consultation to find a solution that is truly conducive to safeguarding the security of Europe.