Yellen Criticizes China’s Position on Russia–Ukraine War

Yellen Criticizes China’s Position on Russia–Ukraine War
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services in Washington on April 6, 2022. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Naveen Athrappully

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen criticized China’s regime for its dubious stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine in remarks in which she outlined a “way forward” for the global economy.

Beijing recently affirmed having a “special relationship” with Russia, which Yellen hopes might play a role in ending the ongoing war, according to an April 13 statement. Moving forward, it will be “increasingly difficult” to separate economic issues from matters such as national security, according to the statement.

The world’s attitude toward the country and its willingness to “embrace further economic integration” might be affected by how China reacts to Washington’s call for “resolute action” against Russia.

“Whatever China’s geopolitical aims and strategies, we see no benign interpretation of Russia’s invasion, nor of its consequences for the international order. China cannot expect the global community to respect its appeals to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity in the future if does not respect these principles now when it counts,” Yellen said.

Russia and China have increasingly been seeking tighter cooperation in recent years. They’re also seeking out alliances with U.S. adversaries in both Asia and Europe, Brandon Weichert, a China expert, recently told EpochTV’s “China Insider.”

While Iran has become a “quasi colony” for China and Russia, North Korea is a “cat’s paw” for Beijing, he said. Weichert believes North Korea’s hypersonic capabilities to be a contribution of either Russia or China.

Such actions are “an attempt to basically create a shield of autocracy on the outer periphery of Eurasia and the Middle East by giving some medium-sized powers ... capabilities and guidance in challenging American power,” he said. “I think these entities are operating together as one, and their mission is to roll back American military power projection.”

Both China and Russia have also been calling for greater cooperation in the context of the BRICS alliance, which includes countries such as India, Brazil, and South Africa. Beijing recently announced that it would share information and experience exchanges in infrastructure development among alliance members.

Russia has called for integrating payment systems within the alliance, as well as using national currencies, a move poised to dilute the dominance of the U.S. dollar.

In her remarks, Yellen pointed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as demonstrating the need to “defend international order,” as well as protect the peace and prosperity that such order has provided to both advanced and developing nations.

This will involve bringing together partners who are “committed to a set of core values and principles.” Existing institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and multilateral development banks need to be modernized for 21st-century challenges.

Trust and cooperation must be built so as to “improve our ability to provide the global public goods that are needed to address these challenges,” according to Yellen.