Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

China’s Xi warns Putin not to use nuclear arms in Ukraine

China’s Xi warns Putin not to use nuclear arms in Ukraine

Chinese leader makes the call during a visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping made his most direct criticism yet of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine on Friday, warning the Russian president not to resort to nuclear weapons and calling on visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to push for peace talks.

Xi’s warning comes just over a month after Putin threatened Ukraine with a nuclear attack, a sign of how far Ukrainian forces had rocked the Kremlin with their advances against invaders in the East.

The international community, said Xi, should “jointly oppose the use of, or threats to use, nuclear weapons,” according to a statement carried by Xinhua, China’s state news agency. The world should also “advocate that nuclear weapons cannot be used, a nuclear war cannot be waged, in order to prevent a nuclear crisis” in Europe or Asia, Xi added.

The Chinese leader, who just weeks ago secured a norm-breaking third term in office, asked Germany and Europe to “play an important part in calling for peace and facilitating negotiations.”

Xi also called for “improving the humanitarian situation” in the crisis areas especially during the winter.

Still, the Chinese leader, who before the war referred to Putin as his best friend, notably stopped short of asking Russia to withdraw, a key demand for Ukraine and its Western backers. He also made no mention of Putin’s refusal to honor the U.N. agreement on facilitating Ukrainian grain exports, with his premier instead advocating the export of Chinese grain to help ease the food crisis.

In September Putin publicly acknowledged for the first time that Xi had “questions” and “concerns” about the war. Shortly after that meeting between the Chinese and Russian leaders, Putin upped the ante and raised the notion that nuclear weapons could be used. “To defend Russia and our people, we doubtlessly will use all weapons resources at our disposal,” Putin said. “This is not a bluff.”

“We cannot afford any further escalation,” China’s outgoing Premier Li Keqiang said at a press conference. Referring to Scholz who was standing next to him, Li said: “Both of us … hope the crisis ends soon.”


Scholz wants business


Xi’s show of opposition to Putin’s nuclear threats was hailed as a major diplomatic victory by Scholz, who has faced weeks of criticism for leaning too closely toward Beijing.

“We have agreed that threatening nuclear attacks is irresponsible and dangerous,” Scholz told reporters, referring to his meeting with Xi. “I have told President Xi the importance for China to exert its influence on Russia.”

Scholz brought with him a delegation of big businesses and also recently approved a deal by a Chinese state-owned company to acquire part of a terminal in the strategically important port of Hamburg.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancelor Olaf Scholz at the Grand Hall in Beijing


Indeed, during the opening remarks at his meeting with Xi, Scholz again recalled his earlier career as the Hamburg mayor, while urging Xi to deepen trade ties with Germany, the EU’s biggest economy.

Scholz named few deliverables, apart from a deal for expatriates — not local Chinese people — to take BioNTech coronavirus vaccine shots in China, and vowed cooperation on climate change and disease prevention.


Taiwan tensions


Before the press conference drew to a close without a single question from reporters, Scholz brought up the escalating tension across the Taiwan Strait.

“Any change to the status quo of Taiwan can only take place through mutual agreement and peacefully,” he said, adding that he also raised the issue of the human rights abuses against China’s Muslim minority in Xinjiang.

Scholz alluded to Beijing’s economic coercion against Lithuania when the Baltic country pursued closer ties with Taiwan, saying: “It is also important to be clear: Economic measures against individual EU member states are directed against the entire EU internal market, and sanctions against EU parliamentarians are also unacceptable to us.”

While Scholz didn’t play up the trade focus of his trip, his Chinese host made sure to send a clear message to German businesses, which China considers to be a major source of stability in otherwise shaky EU-China relations.

“We continue to be prepared to assist Germany in accessing our market,” Premier Li told reporters at the press conference, calling for a “sound and stable” relationship with Germany. “We support a multipolar world, free trade, and want to meet our partner on an equal footing.”

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Hong Kong airlines taking bold action after the years of pandemic lockdown and travel restrictions, to make Hong Kong great again
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
×