As Russian missiles soared through the skies above Ukraine on Thursday and international leaders condemned an invasion expanding throughout the country, China declined to criticize Russia explicitly, instead of blaming the US and its allies.
As Russia’s invasion of its neighbor continues, Beijing finds itself in a difficult position, balancing strong strategic cooperation with Moscow with its seemingly contradictory policy of defending state sovereignty.
On Thursday, a Chinese government official dodged questions about whether the country would criticize Russia’s activities or consider them a “invasion.”
Instead, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying — who recited the same tired platitudes about wanting peace via discussion and declaring the situation to be “dangerous” —”not what we would hope to see” — was quick to point the finger at the US, implying that Washington was a “culprit” for “fanning up flames,” alluding to recent US threats of an impending invasion.
Her remarks were extensively circulated across China’s official state media and social media channels, where news and discussion on Ukraine dominated.