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China Slams US Claims It Is Fuelling Ukraine War

Beijing has long denied claims it is aiding Russia's fighting in Ukraine -- and insisted it won't accept "criticism or pressure" over its ties with Moscow.


This handout photograph taken and released by Ukrainian Presidential press-service on April 22, 2024 shows a firefighter at work to put out a fire in a residential building following Russian strike in Kherson, amid Russian invasion in Ukraine. (Photo by Handout / UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP)

 

China condemned on Tuesday as “groundless accusations” US claims that Beijing was fuelling the Ukraine war by supplying components to Russia which it uses for its military expansion.

China and Russia have ramped up economic cooperation and diplomatic contacts in recent years and their strategic partnership has only grown closer since the invasion of Ukraine.

Beijing says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict but has been criticised for refusing to condemn Moscow for its offensive.

And ahead of a planned visit to Beijing by top diplomat Antony Blinken this week, the United States had accused China of helping Russia carry out its biggest militarisation since Soviet times.

Following a G7 ministers meeting in Capri last week, Blinken said: “when it comes to Russia’s defence industrial base, the primary contributor in this moment to that is China,” adding that this is “allowing Russia to continue the aggression against Ukraine”.

In response, China on Tuesday furiously defended its right to “normal trade ties” with all countries, including Russia.

“The United States has unveiled a large-scale aid bill for Ukraine while also making groundless accusations against normal trade between China and Russia,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

“This kind of approach is extremely hypocritical and utterly irresponsible, and China is firmly opposed to it,” he said.

 

– Russian regroup –

 

US officials say China has stopped short of direct military assistance but has provided dual-use supplies that have let Russia regroup in the face of a long delay in US aid to Ukraine.

Blinken last week said this included “machine tools, semiconductors, other dual-use items that have helped Russia rebuild the defense industrial base that sanctions and export controls had done so much to degrade”.

The top US diplomat has pledged to raise the issue with Chinese officials in Beijing this week, as well as press them to use their leverage over Russia to help end the war.

Beijing has long denied claims it is aiding Russia’s fighting in Ukraine — and insisted it won’t accept “criticism or pressure” over its ties with Moscow.

“On the Ukraine issue, China has always maintained an objective and just position, advocated actively for peace talks and pushed for a political resolution,” Wang said Tuesday.

“China consistently implements regulations on the export of dual-use items,” he said.

“China is neither a creator nor party to the Ukraine crisis and has never thrown oil on the flames,” Wang said.

“We will not accept others passing the buck or shifting blame onto us,” he said.