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Dalai Lama saddened by Ukraine conflict, ‘neutral’ China supports Russia

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(TibetanReview.net, Feb28’22) – As global attention focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the latter’s refusal to permanently stop aspiring for membership of NATO, a military alliance led by the USA, the Dalai Lama said Feb 28 that he was deeply saddened by the ensuing conflict taking place in the latter’s territory. China claims to have adopted a neutral position but has sabotaged or severely criticized all international moves to sanction Russia for its naked aggression on its neighbour, which is Europe’s second largest territory but a military underdog.

In his statement of concern, the Dalai Lama reiterated his stand that War is outdated, that the world has become so interdependent that violent conflict between two countries inevitably impacts the rest of the world.

He said that rather than waging war, “we need to develop a sense of the oneness of humanity by considering other human beings as brothers and sisters,” resolving problems and disagreements through dialogue.

He said that with a century of war and bloodshed behind us, we should not lose hope and that the 21st century must be one of dialogue.

Earlier, Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration, in his tweet Feb 25, condemned violence as ‘inhumane’ and ‘anachronistic’ in today’s world and called for peace to be restored in Ukraine. He said “the invasion of Ukraine reminds us of the invasion of Tibet in 1950.”

Meanwhile, ahead of a UN Emergency Special Session on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China said it was opposed to sanctions which Western countries had imposed on the former.

“China welcomes the earliest possible direct dialogue and negotiation between Russia and Ukraine,” China’s official globaltimes.cn Feb 27 quoted State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying.

But given Russia’s impossible condition of seeking to curb Ukraine’s sovereign right on the NATO issue and its move to curve out two Russian-speaking majority areas in Ukraine as separate countries, its readiness to hold a dialogue amount to a demand for nothing short of a total surrender.

And as Russia’s economy gets hammered by sanctions, China has emerged as the key player with the potential to lessen its partner’s economic pain, noted an aljazeera.com report Feb 28. However, it said, amid Moscow’s deepening international isolation, there were growing signs that Beijing’s willingness to throw its strategic partner an economic lifeline may only go so far.

It said that even as Beijing had refused to term Russian President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine an “invasion” and condemned Western-led sanctions, Chinese state-owned financial institutions had been quietly distancing themselves from Russia’s beleaguered economy.

Also, voanews.com noted Feb 27 that China had refused to join its close friend, Russia, in vetoing a US-backed resolution in the UN Security Council deploring its attack on Ukraine. China only abstained from voting on that resolution. But this may be because China has significant economic interests in Ukraine and many Chinese people are still stuck in the country amid fears of reprisal from the local population.

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