China blames US for escalating war in Ukraine by ‘pouring weapons into battlefield’

Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky - POOL/via REUTERS
Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky - POOL/via REUTERS

China has blamed the US for escalating war in Ukraine by pumping weapons into the country as a senior Beijing diplomat arrived for talks in Moscow.

Qin Gang, the foreign minister, accused America of being the greatest obstacle to global peace amid concerns from Washington that Beijing might provide Moscow with military aid.

Beijing is “deeply worried” that the situation could spiral out of control in Ukraine, he said.

“We urge certain countries to immediately stop fuelling the fire,” he said, in remarks pointed at the US. He added that the US should “stop hyping up ‘today Ukraine, tomorrow Taiwan’”.

China’s foreign ministry has also said that Washington is in no position to tell Beijing what to do as it is the US that has been “pouring weapons into the battlefield,” said Wang Wenbin, a government spokesman.

Beijing’s response comes alongside a flurry of diplomatic activity around the world as the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine approaches on Friday, including a surprise visit to Kyiv by Joe Biden, the US president.

Wang Yi, a senior Chinese diplomat, arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, according to Russian and Chinese state media, at the end of a trip that included stops in France, Italy, Hungary and Germany.

Russia’s news agency TASS also said that Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, is expected to deliver a “peace speech” on the anniversary of the war in Ukraine. Moscow announced last month that Mr Xi was due to visit.

China has refrained from publicly denouncing Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, instead sticking to platitudes.

Beijing has repeatedly said that it supports peace and each country’s sovereignty – neutral language that amounts to a copout, as both Ukraine and Russia define sovereignty very differently.

China has also said it supports peace talks to end the Ukraine war, without offering concrete details, a stance that Mr Wang reiterated while on his trip through Europe.

China and Russia have touted closer ties, declaring a “no-limits friendship”. A Chinese state media editorial on Tuesday heralded that relationship, calling it a “valuable positive asset for both countries and for the stability of international relations”.

In another show of a closer bond between the two countries, China and Russia began joint maritime drills last Friday in the Indian Ocean. South Africa’s navy has joined in, a move that has drawn criticism.