China’s Foreign Ministry sought to blame the United States for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, claiming Washington created the conditions that led to the war.
Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Monday.
The spokesperson also condemned the weapons deliveries for inflaming the conflict as it approaches the one-year mark.
“The U.S. is the one who triggered the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fuelling it and has kept selling heavy and assault weapons to Ukraine, which has only prolonged and intensified the conflict.”
Her comments came in response to a question about allegations from the U.S. that Chinese companies had been offering support to the Russian side.
She denounced the claims as “unwarranted suspicion and groundless blackmail”.
Mao added that China “would not sit by and watch the U.S. harm the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”
Russia launched its full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
The People’s Republic of China, an ally of Russia, has not condemned Russia’s actions.
The rising diplomatic tensions between China and the U.S. comes just days ahead of a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is expected in Beijing on Sunday and Monday.
Blinken’s trip is the first visit to China by a U.S. secretary of state since 2018.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson also issued a warning to the U.S. over its support for Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province.
The U.S. has long supplied Taiwan with weapons and offers the self-governing island with extensive military support.
Mao said the U.S. should not cross any “red lines” when it comes to its backing of Taiwan.