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China Rejects Categorizing Russia Attack as Invasion, Blames US for 'Fueling' Tensions

China Rejects Categorizing Russia Attack as Invasion, Blames US for 'Fueling' Tensions
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying speaks during a press conference. (Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 24 February 2022 05:44 PM EST

China on Thursday rejected categorizing Russia's attack of Ukraine as an invasion and blamed the Biden administration for fueling tensions with Moscow.

When asked by several reporters during a daily news briefing in Beijing whether she would call the attack an invasion, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying refused to give a yes or no answer.

"The U.S. has been fueling the flame, fanning up the flame, how do they want to put out the fire?" she retorted, according to CNBC.

She also said Russia was an "independent major country" that could take its own actions.

"China is closely following the development of the situation. What you are seeing today is not what we have wished to see," Hua said. "We hope all parties can go back to dialogue and negotiation."

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said any country that backed Russia's onslaught in Ukraine would be "stained by association," after China rejected calling Moscow's move an invasion and instead urged all sides to exercise restraint.

Hua, seemingly in response to the president's comments, said, "Those who have set the fire should consider how to put it out with concrete actions, rather than condemning others."

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said little publicly about the Ukraine situation and some reports suggest that Beijing was attempting to nurture its relationship with Russia without isolating itself from the West.

"China's going to take as neutral a role as possible," Tai Ming Cheung, a professor at the University of California, San Diego, told the Wall Street Journal recently. "They can wait for the dust to settle and see what's actually going on."

"China is clearly sympathetic to Russian perspectives," Tong Zhao, a senior fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Beijing, told CNBC.

"China thinks that it's the NATO expansion and other threats from the U.S. and NATO" that ultimately prompted Russia to defend "its legitimate interests," he said. "In other words, I think China feels Russia feels it is forced to do what it is doing."

"Because Russia is now receiving wide international condemnation and criticism, I think China wants to avoid being seen as part of this axis," Zhao said.

But "when it comes to public statements China has been very careful," he said. "It's hard for China to openly support this Russian behavior given these implications for China's own security and China's relationship with Taiwan."

Solange Reyner

Solange Reyner is a writer and editor for Newsmax. She has more than 15 years in the journalism industry reporting and covering news, sports and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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China on Thursday rejected categorizing Russia's attack of Ukraine as an invasion and blamed the Biden administration for fueling tensions with Moscow.
china, russia, ukraine, invasion
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2022-44-24
Thursday, 24 February 2022 05:44 PM
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