Written by Kevin Yao
BOAO, China (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s opposition to unilateral sanctions and “long-term jurisdiction” in a speech on Thursday, without directly referring to punitive measures taken by the West against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
China has repeatedly criticized Western sanctions, including those against Russia, but has also been careful not to provide assistance to Moscow that could lead to sanctions against Beijing.
Addressing the annual Boao Forum of the Asian Community on the southern island of Hainan, Xi warned that economic “disengagement” and pressure tactics such as cutting supply chains would not work.
“China would like to put forward a global security initiative” that upholds the “principle of indivisible security,” Xi said.
“We must adhere to the principle of indivisibility of security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose building national security on the basis of insecurity in other countries.”
Russia insisted that Western governments respect the 1999 agreement based on the principle of “indivisible security” that no country can enhance its security at the expense of others.
China and Russia have grown increasingly close, and China has refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow describes as a “special operation.” China has blamed the Ukraine crisis on NATO’s eastward expansion.
Xi said efforts are needed to stabilize global supply chains, but he also said China’s economy is resilient and its long-term trend has not changed.
The Chinese economy is facing headwinds from the impact of its relentless efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, particularly in its economic hub of Shanghai. Xi did not mention the coronavirus crisis in China during the speech.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Writing by Tony Munro and Yu Lon Tian; Editing by Shree Navaratnam, Bernard Orr and Simon Cameron Moore)
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