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US criticized for using intl platform for cooperation to exert pressure on other countries

《环球时报》 2022-07-16

As the US lashed out at Russia at the Group of 20 (G20) summit and tried to talk other economies into intensifying pressure on Moscow, experts said such a move was expected, and criticized the US for again using what should be a platform for cooperation to exert pressure on other countries.

This is also a shirking of responsibility, as the US tried to pile all the blame for surging domestic inflation on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, they said, responding to remarks by US government officials ahead of and during G20 calling for pressure to be put on Russia over some international issues such as the food crisis, which were in fact the result of multiple factors, including the US' sanctions on Russia.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, speaking at a meeting of G20 finance officials in Indonesia, on Friday urged major G20 economies to take urgent action to address a short-term food security crisis, and avoid market-distorting export restrictions and stockpiling, according to Reuters on Friday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was using food as a weapon of war, she claimed, citing the destruction of agricultural facilities, theft of grain and farm equipment, and the effec-tive blockade of Black Sea ports.

One day earlier, Yellen said she will continue to press G20 allies at the meeting for a price cap on Russian oil and pressure Moscow to end war while bringing down energy costs, according to AFP.

The US using G20 to criticize Russia is expected, and it is in line with its consistent position, judging from the behavior of the US, Song Guoyou, deputy director of the Center for American Studies, Fudan University, told the Global Times on Friday.

Currently, the US' diplomatic focus is dealing with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, so they will spare no effort in condemning Russia, which shows that the US is taking advantage of international mechanisms for its own interests, and this is long-term behavior, Song added.

Sanctions against Russia are only carried out by the US and some Western countries, and are not applicable to the G20 platform, which is more of a global organization, He Weiwen, an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times on Friday.

Chinese experts said G20 is a platform for cooperation, not a platform for one country to put pressure on another, which is a manifestation of confrontation not cooperation.

Urging some countries to put pressure on Russia is also not in line with the purpose and original intention of G20, Bai Ming, deputy director of the international market research institute at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Friday.

It can be seen that the US does not put the food problem first, but is using it as a pretext to suppress Russia, Bai said, noting that the Russia-Ukraine conflict was ignited by the long-term hostility of the US-led NATO to Russia.

Apart from Russia, China is also becoming a target of the US. China is a very important creditor of Sri Lanka and it would likely be in the interests of both countries if China participated in restructuring Sri Lanka's debt, Yellen said on Thursday.

Yellen said she would urge other members of the G20 major economies to put pressure on China to be more cooperative in long-stalled efforts to restructure the debts of countries in debt distress, including Sri Lanka.

Observers are calling for global efforts for an immediate debt restructuring plan to help the country get through its difficulties.

For the difficulties faced by Sri Lanka, China will continue to provide assistance to the best of its ability and support Sri Lanka's early economic recovery and improvement of people's livelihoods, Shu Jueting, a spokesperson of the MOFCOM, told a regular press conference on Thursday.

China is willing to work with the relevant countries and international financial institutions to continue playing an active role in addressing the current difficulties, easing the debt burden and achieving sustainable development for Sri Lanka, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

The financial leaders of the world's leading economies met on the Indonesian island of Bali on Friday, looking for ways to counter economic fallout, inflation and other global crises that are hitting economies across the world.

Chinese experts said all countries would agree with the need to alleviate the world's food crisis and demand the opening of food transportation channels, including Russia, which has never said that it hinders food transportation, so the G20 countries should be consistent in this regard.