China ‘can’t have it both ways’ with Russia and West, says US

China ‘can’t have it both ways’ with Russia and West, says US
China ‘can’t have it both ways’ with Russia and West, says US

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - In this pool photograph distributed by the Russian state agency Sputnik, Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after their talks in Beijing on May 16, 2024. — Mikhail Metzel / Pool / AFP pic via Sputnik

WASHINGTON, May 17 — The United States on Thursday said Chinese President Xi Jinping cannot both improve ties with the West and support Russia after he vowed to boost relations with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

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“The People’s Republic of China can’t have its cake and eat it too,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters.

“It can’t have it both ways and want to have (better) relationships with Europe and other countries while simultaneously continuing to fuel the biggest threat to European security in a long time,” Patel said, referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The United States has charged that China, while not directly sending weapons to Russia, has supported Moscow’s largest defence industry expansion since Soviet times, a concern raised by Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a visit to Beijing last month.

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Xi and Putin framed their nations’ ties as a stabilising force as they met Thursday in Beijing, where the Russian president is seeking greater Chinese backing for his war effort.

The two leaders signed a joint statement on deepening their “comprehensive strategic partnership.”

Chinese support for Russia’s defence industry “not only threatens Ukrainian security, it threatens European security,” Patel said.

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Xi, in remarks broadcast on Russian television, said that China “looks forward to the early restoration of peace and stability on the European continent.”

Asked about China’s stated support for a peace process, Patel said, “From our point of view, the solution is simple — the Russian Federation can just leave Ukraine.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the United States did not “see anything new” in the Russia-China joint statement.

“We find it unacceptable that Chinese companies are helping Putin wage this war against Ukraine,” she said. — AFP

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