Beijing categorically denied on Monday the US claims that China considered arming Russia in its war against Ukraine as he repeated the call for dialogue to end the conflict.
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Beijing was now “considering providing lethal support” to Moscow, “from munitions to weapons.”
“It is the United States, not China, that endlessly delivers weapons to the battlefield,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday, when asked about the US claims.
“We urge the United States to seriously consider its own actions and do more to alleviate the situation, promote peace and dialogue, and stop shifting blame and spread false information,” Wang said at a regular briefing.
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Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine is a sensitive issue for Beijing, which seeks to position itself as neutral by offering diplomatic support to its strategic ally Russia.
“It is clear to the international community who is calling for dialogue and fighting for peace, and who is adding fuel to the fire and encouraging the opposition,” Wang added, echoing the call to support China’s proposal to end the war.
On Saturday, China said it would publish a proposal this week to find a “political solution” to the Ukraine crisis, and a senior Beijing diplomat told a conference that the country was “on the side of dialogue.”
Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference that China opposes attacks on nuclear power plants, against the use of biochemical weapons, and is ready to work with “all parties.”
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Later on Monday, the EU foreign policy chief warned China against providing arms to Russia for a war with Ukraine.
Josep Borrell said he told Wang Yi that “for us, this will be a red line in our relationship. He told me that they were not going to do it, that they were not going to do it. But we will remain vigilant.”
– Alleged spy ball –
Blinken’s accusations came as tensions between China and the United States continued to escalate after Washington shot down what it said was a Chinese spy balloon earlier this month.
The United States has repeatedly warned China against supporting Russia in its war in Ukraine, which approaches its anniversary.
Speaking on ABC on Sunday, Blinken said US President Joe Biden warned his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping back in March last year against sending weapons to Russia.
Since then, “China has been careful not to cross that line, including by refraining from selling lethal weapon systems for use on the battlefield,” according to a US administration source familiar with the matter.
In Munich, Blinken and Wang Yi quarreled over Washington shooting down a Chinese balloon over its airspace.
During their meeting, Blinken “spoke explicitly about the unacceptable violation of US sovereignty and international law by a (Chinese) high-altitude observation balloon in US territorial airspace,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
He also warned Wang “of the consequences if China provides material support to Russia or help circumvent systemic sanctions,” Price said.
In turn, Wang Yi told Blinken that relations between their countries had suffered because of Washington’s response to a balloon that China has repeatedly called a civilian weather research ship that veered off course.
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Wang Yi “unequivocally stated China’s serious stance on the so-called airship incident” and “urged the American side to change course, recognize and repair the damage caused by its excessive use of force to Sino-US relations,” the state-run Xinhua news agencies. reported.
Speaking Saturday at a meeting of world leaders in Munich, the diplomat denounced the US response to the balloon as “hysterical and absurd.”