US not qualified to issue orders on arms supply in Ukraine: China
Bristling against US’ claims, China accused the Biden administration on Monday of spreading lies and defended China’s close partnership with Russia.
The remarks, by a spokesman from the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs, were part of a series of diplomatic moves as China’s leader, Xi Jinping, tries to preserve ties with President Vladimir Putin of Russia while casting Beijing as a blameless onlooker in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, trying only to coax Moscow and Kyiv to peace talks.
On the weekend, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, indicated that he had evidence that, behind the scenes, Beijing was tilting toward stronger support for Putin and “considering providing lethal support to Russia in its aggression against Ukraine.” Blinken said he had warned his Chinese counterpart that there would be serious consequences were that to occur.
Asked about the accusations from Blinken, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs, suggested that, on the contrary, it was the US that was stoking bloodshed in Ukraine. “It’s the US, and not China, that has been incessantly supplying weapons to the battlefield, and the US is not qualified to issue any orders to China,” Wang told a regular news conference in Beijing. Washington, Wang added, should “stop shirking responsibility and disseminating fake news. China will continue firmly standing on the side of dialogue and the side of peace.”
Chinese weapons supplies to Russia would risk a potential escalation of the Ukraine war into a confrontation between Russia and China on the one side and Ukraine and the US-led Nato military alliance on the other.
China’s top diplomat, meanwhile, is due to visit Moscow later on Monday, and may possibly even meet President Putin. After sparring over the shooting down of balloons over the US, China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, accused the US of violating international norms with “hysterical” behaviour. Wang suggested European countries “think calmly” about how to end the war and said Beijing would put forward “China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the planned visit by Wang to Moscow but gave no date for the trip.