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A senior defense official on Thursday lashed out at China’s silence over the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces after more than a week of deadly missile strikes.
Despite China’s repeated claims that it respects a state’s right to sovereignty, its government has refused to hit Russia with sanctions or even condemn the incursion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping meet at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Feb. 4, 2022.
(Alexei Druzhinin/TASS via Getty Images)
“China continues to send mixed messages out here about their concerns over what’s going on in Ukraine,” the defense official said. “And for all their bluster about wanting to see a peaceful outcome here – they’ve done nothing to propose or suggest or show an interest in becoming involved in any kind of diplomatic solution.”
China on Wednesday abstained from voting with another 141 nations, including the U.S., to pass a United Nations General Assembly resolution that condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion and demanded he immediately withdraw his troops.
Of the 181 nations present for the vote, only five countries – Russia, Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea and Syria – opposed the resolution while 35 nations abstained.
China justified its decision not to vote in favor of the non-legally binding resolution by claiming the draft was not properly consulted on by all member nations.
“Nor did it take full consideration the history and complexity of the current crisis,” spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Webin told reporters Thursday.
China has repeatedly suggested the history between Russia and Ukraine – a former Soviet nation – needs to be taken into account by Western nations that have condemned the violent invasion.
But China has yet to highlight what aspect of Moscow and Kyiv’s history would justify Putin’s decision to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty as an independent nation.
“We always advocate respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries,” Webin claimed. “The top priority right now is to ease the situation on the ground as much as possible.”
China has condemned the severe sanctions that Russia has faced from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and dozens of European nations – claiming they have only added fuel to the fire.
As Western nations attempt to stop Putin’s aggression in Ukraine through economic hardship, Beijing has refused to get involved.
“China is ready to continue its constructive role in this regard,” Webin said.
However, Webin has failed to directly answer questions on how China is helping to staunch the aggression by its top ally, Russia.
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