Two visits highlight divergent approaches of Beijing and Washington to Ukraine crisis

Western countries that have formed a gang led by the United States to wage a proxy war against Russia deem any country that refuses to stand on their side as being on the wrong side of history, as if becoming an accomplice or cannon fodder for the protection of the US' hegemony puts them on the right side.

That is how they are trying to smear and distort the state visit of President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko to China from Tuesday to Thursday, although the diplomatic interactions and economic and trade cooperation between China and Belarus have never targeted any third party. The two countries' productive economic and trade cooperation over the past more than three decades testifies to the win-win nature of bilateral cooperation. Agreeing to upgrade bilateral ties to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership in September, during the Samarkand Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the leaders of the two countries vowed to deepen bilateral exchanges at various levels. Lukashenko's visit will help materialize that consensus in concrete projects.

Beijing and Minsk's shared belief in multilateralism and the United Nations' central role in international governance constitutes a solid foundation for their mutual trust and coordination on hotspot issues. Lukashenko's visit is therefore conducive to securing a political solution to the Ukraine crisis, which has direct spillover effects on Belarus and indirect trade and economic impacts on China. To put an end to the Ukraine conflict at an early date is in line with the common interests of the two sides as well as that of the rest of the world — the US excluded.

That both Beijing and Minsk have maintained smooth communication channels and healthy relations with Moscow also highlights their potential to act as mediators between Moscow and the West, particularly after China made its position on the Ukraine crisis crystal clear in the paper it published last week promoting a political settlement of the crisis.

That should be the takeaway of Lukashenko's visit for the West. Yet coincidentally, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on a trip to Kazakhstan, where he will meet with the foreign ministers of all five Central Asian states in Astana on Tuesday, before visiting Uzbekistan, ostensibly to help ease the "pressure that the economies and societies of this part of the world are under" due to the US-led sanctions on Russia.

In reality, he will press the five countries to join the US club against Russia and to participate in its China containment strategy, as the US wants to drive a wedge between the region and Russia, its largest neighbor, as well as China, the region's largest trade partner. After Uzbekistan, Blinken is scheduled to fly to India to attend a Quad meeting targeting China.

While Beijing and its partners are making full use of every minute to strive for peace, Washington is wasting no time in demonstrating that it will hinder any such efforts and that it is the biggest threat to world peace and stability.