Will Ukraine Wake Up From Beijing’s Undeliverable Promises?

Commentary When the leaders of the West imposed economic sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine, China held back. This behavior calls for attention to the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Ukraine government. Ukraine Assisted the CCP’s Military Development Ukraine and the CCP regime established diplomatic relations on Jan. 4, 1992, almost immediately after Ukraine declared its independence in 1991, after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Inheriting the military industry of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine developed close relations with the CCP; the CCP gained tremendous assistance in military equipment and technology from Ukraine. In military equipment, Ukraine sold its Varyag, which was refurbished by the People’s Liberation Army Navy and became China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning; along with the Varyag were the relevant blueprints. Chinese state-run media Global Times reported in 2015: “For 20 years, Ukraine has exported to the CCP more than 30 types of military technology involved in key equipment such as aircraft carriers, large ship power systems, large transport aircraft designs, supersonic advanced trainers, tank engines, and air-to-air missiles. “From Ukraine, the CCP has acquired almost all the military technology it desired,” the report said. Thousands of Ukrainian military engineers were recruited to work for the CCP, including Valery Vasilevich Babich, the chief designer of the Varyag. One of the CCP’s theoretical journals once stated that China’s military industry has “exhausted Ukraine’s dividends.” Global Times once admitted that “without Ukraine, the CCP would have no defense achievements.” The CCP also relied on Ukraine for its lunar exploration program. According to a report prepared by IGCC (Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation) in 2015, “Ukraine inherited a substantial amount of the former Soviet Union’s space industry on which Ukraine bases its cooperation with China, especially those related to ballistic missile and launch vehicles.” Ukraine’s Deep Economic Ties With China In 2011, Ukraine and China established a strategic partnership and agreed to cooperate in the areas of trade, science and technology, aviation, aerospace, agriculture, and infrastructure construction. In 2016, China’s COFCO, an agribusiness company, invested $75 million in a grain and oil transfer terminal at the Mykolaiv seaport. A worker displaying soybeans imported from Ukraine at the port in Nantong, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province, on May 10, 2019. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) In 2019, Chinese telecom giant Huawei won a contract to build a 4G network for the Kyiv subway. China became Ukraine’s top trading partner; trade between the two sides reached $15 billion in 2020 and nearly $19 billion in 2021, according to the Ukrainian government’s customs data. Last June, Ukrainian deputy economy minister Taras Kachka said that China is Ukraine’s most important strategic partner in Asia. On June 30, Ukraine signed an agreement with China on deepening cooperation in infrastructure projects. The terms of the agreement provide financing on preferential terms and the construction of roads, bridges, and airports by the Chinese side. Last July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held his first telephone conversation with CCP leader Xi Jinping. Zelensky expressed that “the Ukrainian side attaches great importance and is dedicated to developing a closer Ukraine-China strategic partnership,” and Ukraine might become a “bridge to Europe” for Chinese business. Major Ukraine Political Parties Share the CCP’s Values On July 4, 2016, around the time of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the CCP, then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told China’s ambassador to Ukraine, Du Wei, that her Batkivshchyna Party welcomes inter-party exchanges with China and Ukraine should learn from the CCP’s experience in governing the country. According to a 2019 report on Ukraine’s foreign policy, the “Batkivshchyna Party has noticeably the greatest interest in China, compared to other political parties. Its election programme ‘Ukraine’s New Course’ says that a new formula for negotiations, the so-called ‘Budapest+’, should involve China.” In July 2021, Zelensky and his political party, Servant of the People, congratulated the CCP on its 100th anniversary. The leader of the Servant of the People, David Arakhamia, stressed that his party shares “common principles” with the CCP. Kyiv Avoids Criticizing Beijing’s Human Rights Violations When the world condemned Beijing for violating Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” policy and eroding the city’s freedoms, then-Prime Minister Tymoshenko told China’s state media Xinhua that other countries have “no right to interfere in China’s internal affairs.” Last year, Ukraine abruptly withdrew its support from the United Nations’ statement condemning the Chinese regime’s mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang. T

Will Ukraine Wake Up From Beijing’s Undeliverable Promises?

Commentary

When the leaders of the West imposed economic sanctions against Russia for its war in Ukraine, China held back. This behavior calls for attention to the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Ukraine government.

Ukraine Assisted the CCP’s Military Development

Ukraine and the CCP regime established diplomatic relations on Jan. 4, 1992, almost immediately after Ukraine declared its independence in 1991, after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Inheriting the military industry of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine developed close relations with the CCP; the CCP gained tremendous assistance in military equipment and technology from Ukraine.

In military equipment, Ukraine sold its Varyag, which was refurbished by the People’s Liberation Army Navy and became China’s first aircraft carrier, Liaoning; along with the Varyag were the relevant blueprints.

Chinese state-run media Global Times reported in 2015: “For 20 years, Ukraine has exported to the CCP more than 30 types of military technology involved in key equipment such as aircraft carriers, large ship power systems, large transport aircraft designs, supersonic advanced trainers, tank engines, and air-to-air missiles.

“From Ukraine, the CCP has acquired almost all the military technology it desired,” the report said.

Thousands of Ukrainian military engineers were recruited to work for the CCP, including Valery Vasilevich Babich, the chief designer of the Varyag.

One of the CCP’s theoretical journals once stated that China’s military industry has “exhausted Ukraine’s dividends.” Global Times once admitted that “without Ukraine, the CCP would have no defense achievements.”

The CCP also relied on Ukraine for its lunar exploration program. According to a report prepared by IGCC (Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation) in 2015, “Ukraine inherited a substantial amount of the former Soviet Union’s space industry on which Ukraine bases its cooperation with China, especially those related to ballistic missile and launch vehicles.”

Ukraine’s Deep Economic Ties With China

In 2011, Ukraine and China established a strategic partnership and agreed to cooperate in the areas of trade, science and technology, aviation, aerospace, agriculture, and infrastructure construction.

In 2016, China’s COFCO, an agribusiness company, invested $75 million in a grain and oil transfer terminal at the Mykolaiv seaport.

Epoch Times Photo
A worker displaying soybeans imported from Ukraine at the port in Nantong, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province, on May 10, 2019. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2019, Chinese telecom giant Huawei won a contract to build a 4G network for the Kyiv subway.

China became Ukraine’s top trading partner; trade between the two sides reached $15 billion in 2020 and nearly $19 billion in 2021, according to the Ukrainian government’s customs data.

Last June, Ukrainian deputy economy minister Taras Kachka said that China is Ukraine’s most important strategic partner in Asia.

On June 30, Ukraine signed an agreement with China on deepening cooperation in infrastructure projects. The terms of the agreement provide financing on preferential terms and the construction of roads, bridges, and airports by the Chinese side.

Last July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held his first telephone conversation with CCP leader Xi Jinping. Zelensky expressed that “the Ukrainian side attaches great importance and is dedicated to developing a closer Ukraine-China strategic partnership,” and Ukraine might become a “bridge to Europe” for Chinese business.

Major Ukraine Political Parties Share the CCP’s Values

On July 4, 2016, around the time of the 95th anniversary of the founding of the CCP, then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told China’s ambassador to Ukraine, Du Wei, that her Batkivshchyna Party welcomes inter-party exchanges with China and Ukraine should learn from the CCP’s experience in governing the country.

According to a 2019 report on Ukraine’s foreign policy, the “Batkivshchyna Party has noticeably the greatest interest in China, compared to other political parties. Its election programme ‘Ukraine’s New Course’ says that a new formula for negotiations, the so-called ‘Budapest+’, should involve China.”

In July 2021, Zelensky and his political party, Servant of the People, congratulated the CCP on its 100th anniversary. The leader of the Servant of the People, David Arakhamia, stressed that his party shares “common principles” with the CCP.

Kyiv Avoids Criticizing Beijing’s Human Rights Violations

When the world condemned Beijing for violating Hong Kong’s “one country, two systems” policy and eroding the city’s freedoms, then-Prime Minister Tymoshenko told China’s state media Xinhua that other countries have “no right to interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

Last year, Ukraine abruptly withdrew its support from the United Nations’ statement condemning the Chinese regime’s mistreatment of Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The CCP’s Empty Promises

In December 2013, China and Ukraine signed a “Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation” and issued a joint statement, stating that “China pledges unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the nuclear-free Ukraine[,] and China further pledges to provide Ukraine [a] nuclear security guarantee when Ukraine encounters an invasion involving nuclear weapons or [when] Ukraine is under threat of a nuclear invasion.”

But now, amid the Russia-Ukraine war, the CCP’s strongest statement so far is Xi’s call for “maximum restraint” in Ukraine on March 8.

China, which has “refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine or to call them an invasion, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to what it describes as illegal sanctions on Russia,” Reuters reported on March 8.

So where is China’s support now? Did Ukraine finally realize that the CCP breaks its promises?

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


Follow

Li Zhengkuan is a freelance writer who covers China’s affairs. He started contributing to The Epoch Times in 2020.