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The Boym Institute message to Chinese policymakers and analysts

The EU-China relations require common perspective on Russia’s invasion on Ukraine

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Instytut Boyma 01.03.2022

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

  1. We condemn the unprovoked Russian aggression on Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. This is a clear example of a war of aggression affecting Ukrainian civilians. Open nuclear threats made by the Russian leadership endanger global peace and security.
  2. We strongly highlight that NATO never intended nor planned aggression against Russia. The Alliance’s position on the eastern flank in the Baltic countries, Poland, Slovakia and Romania was and remains to be defensive. Conforming with the NATO-Russia Founding  Act from 1997, there was almost no American military presence in the countries that became NATO members after 1999. This situation only changed after 2014, the first Russian invasion in Ukraine, when allied forces began their very limited rotating presence. The number of forces and their equipment never matched the highly militarized Russian exclave in Królewiec (Russian: Kaliningrad).
  3. There was no “expansion of NATO”, a misleading term sometimes used in the international public debate. All countries joined the alliance voluntarily after adhering to rigid criteria. It was an accession process fully compliant with UN principles based on conscious and democratic choices. We chose our allies freely and we never posed any threat to the Russian Federation.
  4. Since the 2010s Poland has intensified both bilateral political, economical and cultural cooperation with China as well as in multilateral formats, thanks to the intensive dialogue in the framework of EU-China and the “16+1” consultation mechanism. The current Chinese stance on the war in Ukraine as well as many opinions expressed in the Chinese media is very troubling for us all in Europe.
  5. We strongly believe that we need to sustain fruitful cooperation with China, based on mutually shared and recognized values enshrined in the UN Charter. Positive development of these relations requires condemnation of the violation of international law. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine represents a clear case of violation of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, principles long cherished by both Poland and China.
  6. We encourage Chinese intellectuals and policymakers to acknowledge the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and strongly condemn the violation of human rights and committed war crimes.  Kremlin politics may set a precedent of a major power claiming the territory of a neighboring sovereign state by force, with unpredictable consequences for global stability and security, also in Asia. Nations supporting UN principles should develop a coherent set of policies, which would deter possible future aggressors.
  7. At present, no one can afford to turn a blind eye to the war crimes happening in Ukraine, and the tragedy of millions of its citizens, including women and children. In Poland we have first-hand information from more than 400 thousands Ukrainians who managed to find safe haven in our country. Moreover, the Russian aggression has left thousands of Chinese citizens under direct threat of loss of life. Part of the Chinese citizens are currently being evacuated to the EU eastern member states.
  8. Russian worrisome actions (including the violent annexation of Crimea) were part of our past high-level think tank discussions regarding the security of the BRI’s plan of developing infrastructure connections across Eurasia. The Chinese expert milieu is well informed on the Russian malpractices and stirring conflicts.
  9. We sincerely hope that Europe will come back to peace very soon and all Ukrainians and foreign nationals residing in Ukraine can further pursue their dreams. This will, however, not bring back the lost lives of the innocent civilians. We urge China to act now and help stop the war.

We are truly counting on your support. 

The Boym Institute

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