After Chinese ambassador to France Lu Shaye’s remark that post-USSR republics “don’t have an effective status” in international law sparked outrage across the European continent, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning rejected Lu’s comments, saying they did not represent China’s official position.
In an interview with the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times, Miles Yu, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute, commented that Lu’s comments on April 21 were no accident, but betrayed China’s internal desire to reorganize the world order. Mao’s response, he said, was simply deceptive.
According to Yu, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) views the West as dominating and adversarial to communist regimes such as China.
Late leader Deng Xiaoping’s foreign policy of “hide your strength; bide your time” aimed to prepare fully before taking action, to prevent the enemy from changing its mind, Yu said. However, its ultimate goal was to change the international structure.
Under current leader Xi Jinping, China’s strategic goals have been more overt, said Yu. Xi’s intent has been clear: to “overthrow the world order [that has existed] since the establishment of international law after World War II.” The Chinese ambassador’s words simply reflect the CCP’s mentality.
When Lu said the countries of the former USSR “don’t have an effective status in international law because there was no international agreement to materialize their status as sovereign countries,” he meant that international law was defined by capitalists, and was thus not fair, Yu said.
The words are an indication that China wants to restructure the world order, or as Xi calls it, “the global governance system,” and he believes China should take a lead role in that, Yu continued.
As early as 2015, Xi stressed to the members of the CCP politburo the urgency of strengthening China’s leading role in global governance and the reform of that system.
As Xi bid farewell to Putin following a state dinner at the Kremlin on March 22, Xi told Putin, “Right now there are changes the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years—and we are the ones driving these changes together.”
Putin responded: “I agree.”
As for spokesperson Mao’s statement that China respects the sovereign status of the former Soviet countries, Yu called the claim “typical CCP foreign policy, saying one thing, while doing another. It’s deceptive as usual.”
If China indeed respects the former Soviet republics as sovereign countries, “it should condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine,” Yu said.
Haizhong Ning and Luo Ya contributed to this report.