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16 Feb, 2023 14:32

Beijing challenges Western press on Nord Stream blasts

Seymour Hersh’s claim that the US blew up the undersea pipelines merits investigation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has said
Beijing challenges Western press on Nord Stream blasts

Beijing has mocked mainstream Western media for its apparent reluctance to look into recent allegations by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, that the US was responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream undersea pipelines last year.

The sabotage of the natural gas routes last September had a major economic and environmental impact and caused global concern over the safety of cross-border infrastructure, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing on Thursday.

“Immediately after the explosions, we saw extensive coverage in US and other Western media with one-sided speculations on who was ‘responsible’ for the sabotage,” he said. “What we see now, however, is that these media, hailed as free, professional and impartial, have fallen silent over Seymour Hersh’s detailed report.”

The veteran investigative journalist reported last week that US President Joe Biden had ordered a secret operation to sabotage the crucial energy link. According to his source, which Hersh did not reveal, the US colluded with Norway to plant explosives under the guise of a NATO naval exercise and detonate it remotely months later. 

Both nations have denied the allegations. Wang wondered if Western outlets really wanted to know the truth about what happened, suggesting that some may be covering up for the Biden administration.

“What exactly do they know? Is there anything they are trying to hide? I suppose any truly objective, impartial and professional media will want to seek out the truth,” the Chinese diplomat said.

Russia, which argued from the outset that the US had most to gain from knocking out the Nord Stream pipelines, expressed similar sentiments.

“We consider this incident an act of international terrorism that warrants a comprehensive and independent investigation,” Igor Girenko, the spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington said. He urged Washington to “at least try to prove that they were not involved in the destruction of the gas pipelines.”

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