China pays reputation cost for sitting on fence during Russian invasion of Ukraine, says Blinken

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China is paying a “reputational cost” to stay on the fence from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken told lawmakers on Tuesday.

On February 24, Russia launched a military offensive against Ukraine.

“I think it shows in its relationship with other countries, especially in Europe,” Blinken said when lawmakers asked him about China’s role in Ukraine and expressed concerns about Chinese behavior in the country. Indo-Pacific region.

“China is paying a reputational cost for – being charitable about it, staying on the fence when it comes to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, let alone falling – on the Russian side of the fence, something that she has to consider,” Blinken said during his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was in Europe for a dialogue on China. “She had a very, I think, productive session with the European Union (EU). You saw the results of the summit between EU leaders and President Xi Jinping, which I think did not benefited China due to the deepening skepticism towards China in Europe,” he said.

“One of the things he focuses on is Chinese investment which potentially poses a strategic challenge or threat to us. We have been across the continent urging countries to adopt investment screening tools. done personally,” he said in response to a question.

“It’s in virtually all of my engagements with countries that don’t have one in an effort to ensure that they can identify and, if necessary, do something about potential investments from China that might pose a threat. for safety,” Blinken said.

“The goal is not to cut off trade or investment from or with China. That is not the problem. The problem focuses on specific areas of strategic importance, including ports as well as telecommunications and other things that we have our eyes on and that we have or they have the tools to do something about it,” he said.

In response to a question, Blinken said President Joe Biden had made it clear to President Xi Jinping that it would not be in China’s interest to materially support Russia in this aggression or for that matter to undermine sanctions. .

“It’s something that we’re looking at very, very carefully. I think you see that China has to deal with the significant reputational risk that it already faces by being seen as – in the most charitable interpretation on the fence and more concretely favorable to Russia,” he said.

“We can in a different session go into more detail. But for now, we don’t see significant support from China for Russia’s military actions,” he said.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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