- Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, launching explosives at Kiev and other high-density cities.
- China, a major trading partner, denied backing the Russian move, arguing that Moscow is an “independent major country” that could act on its own.
- Beijing also refused to call the situation an invasion and instead accused the U.S. of “fueling the flame.”
- China remains one of the only major governments that has not condemned Russia, but it has expressed hopes for all parties to engage in dialogue and negotiation.
China has rejected allegations that it is backing Russia in Ukraine, calling them “American hints” and instead accusing the U.S. of “fueling the flame.”
Russian troops launched an attack on Ukraine on Thursday, during which explosives occurred in Kiev and other high-density cities. Within hours, the U.S., the U.K. and the European Union (EU) all moved to impose sanctions on Moscow, which described its move as a “special military operation.”
China has not condemned Russia, which happens to be one of its main trading partners. In a news conference, Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying refused to call the Kremlin’s move an invasion, despite being asked by reporters several times, according to CNBC.
Hua even deflected blame to the U.S. at one point, reportedly saying, “The U.S. has been fueling the flame, fanning up the flame, how do they want to put out the fire?”
Hua stressed that Russia is an “independent major country” that could act on its own — and therefore has no need for Beijing’s backing.
“As for American hints that Russia had China backing it up, I’m sure Russia would be pleased to hear it,” said Hua, as per the Washington Post. “We won’t be like America and provide Ukraine a large amount of military equipment. Russia as a powerful nation also does not need China or other countries to provide [military assistance].”
Following the invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared martial law and severed all diplomatic ties with Russia. Neighboring countries have begun preparations to take in refugees, with Moldova reporting that 4,000 have already crossed its border, according to the BBC.
Meanwhile, Switzerland, which exercises a foreign policy of neutrality, said it will not be used to get around sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia; however, the country still has no plans of imposing its own sanctions, SWI reported.
“Switzerland will not be used as a platform to circumnavigate sanctions imposed by the EU. It will therefore examine the sanctions and then come to a decision. The Swiss authorities are in constant contact with several countries to exchange intelligence on the current situation,” the Swiss government said, as per CNN.
While China has not denounced Russia, it remains hopeful that the situation can be saved through dialogue and negotiation.
“We still hope that the parties concerned will not shut the door to peace and engage instead in dialogue and consultation and prevent the situation from further escalating,” Hua said, according to the Associated Press.
Featured Image via CGTN