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3 Mar, 2022 16:09

China responds to claim it asked Russia to delay Ukraine offensive

Beijing says the US provoked Moscow by not ruling out NATO membership for Kiev
China responds to claim it asked Russia to delay Ukraine offensive

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin has condemned the “fake” and “very despicable” suggestion that Beijing asked Russia to delay its invasion of Ukraine until after the 2022 Winter Olympics had finished.

Speaking at a daily briefing on Thursday, Wang told reporters that the allegation in the New York Times newspaper “is purely fake news, and such behaviors of diverting attention and shifting blame are very despicable.” He reiterated the country’s claim that the US provoked Russia by not ruling out NATO membership for Ukraine.

The report in the New York Times quoted a Western intelligence report as saying senior Chinese officials told senior Russian officials to not invade Ukraine until the international sporting event in Beijing had concluded. 

The article claims the “report indicates that senior Chinese officials had some level of direct knowledge about Russia’s war plans or intentions before the invasion started.”

Ahead of the Winter Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met, issuing a joint statement to declare that the “friendship between the two states has no limits,” adding that “there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.”

China was one of 35 nations that abstained from a vote of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, which saw 141 nations condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while only five members, including Moscow, rejected the resolution.

“Regrettably, the draft resolution submitted to the General Assembly emergency special session for vote had not undergone full consultations with the whole membership, nor does it take into consideration the history and the complexity of the current crisis,” Wang told reporters, explaining China’s decision to abstain.

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