China’s ambassador in Paris angers former Soviet Republics
China’s ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, has sparked outrage in countries of the former Soviet Union after saying in a TV interview that they have no "effective status" in international law. There is "no international accord to concretise their status as a sovereign country," he said. Commentators also condemn his comments as a major faux pas.
Sovreingnty is not a diplomatic toy
In Le Monde almost 80 European parliamentarians call upon the French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna to declare the ambassador a persona non grata:
“It is no business of China’s — nor of any other nation for that matter — to cast doubt on the sovereignty of another state. Sovereignty is not a diplomatic toy but the fundamental element of international relations, of international law and the UN Charter. At a time when war is raging in Europe, it is imperative that the democratic world sends an unequivocal message to such authoritarian states to defend the sovereignty of our allies. ... We therefore call upon you to declare Ambassador Lu Shaye persona not grata, in reaction to his utterly unacceptable behaviour.”
Beijing must focus on damage limitation
In a Telegram post republished by Echo, foreign policy expert Arkady Dubnov says the comments have caused unnecessary damage:
“The Chinese ambassador’s unguarded frankness has made the prospect of a joint Xi-Macron peace plan for Ukraine even more remote. Kyiv will again suspect China of playing a double game — not so much in favour of peace for Ukraine, but rather to divide Europe by making Paris its agent of influence. It will now be interesting to see how Beijing tries to deny the damage its ambassador has done to President Xi’s carefully balanced policy.”