The conflict in Ukraine “has sounded the alarm for humanity,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, trying to remain neutral while supporting his ally Russia.
China has refused to criticize the Russian war in Ukraine or even call it an invasion out of deference to Moscow, while at the same time condemning sanctions against Russia and accusing the West of provoking the Russian government.
“The crisis in Ukraine has again sounded the alarm for humanity. Countries will certainly face security problems if they blindly trust their positions of strength, expand their military alliances and seek their own security at the expense of others,” Xi said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Xi, who did not propose any solution to the crisis, offered his remarks at the opening of a virtual business forum of the group of countries known as “BRICS”: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
He added that the imposition of sanctions can act as a “boomerang” and a “double-edged sword,” and that the world will suffer from “politicizing, mechanizing and weaponizing” economic trends and global financial flows.
For his part, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro maintained an unusually diplomatic tone in his brief recorded speech for the forum, in which he extolled the results of his government without referring to any other country.
“The current international context causes concern because of the risks to trade and investment flows, to the stability of energy supply chains, and to investments,” he added. “Brazil’s response to these challenges is not to isolate itself. On the contrary, we have sought to deepen our economic integration.”
Xi said China will seek to reduce the impact of disruptions to global supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which it has faced with severe lockdowns and quarantines, despite a decline in the number of cases and the high economic cost.
China’s increasingly aggressive foreign policy and attempts to dominate world markets have provoked a backlash in the United States, Europe, and other regions, with calls to replace Chinese companies in the supply chain and reduce reliance on the Chinese economy.
Xi called on the nations of the world to collaborate to solve such problems, stating that “building a small courtyard with high walls” is not in anyone’s interest.
“Economic globalization is an objective requirement for the development of productive forces and an irresistible historical trend,” the Chinese president added.
“Going back in history and trying to block the way of others, in the end, will only block your own step,” Xi said.