The New York Times recently cited “anonymous U.S. officials” claiming that China was aware of Russia’s intentions and plans in Ukraine ahead of time. The Washington Post also claimed, citing U.S. officials, that Russia had asked China for military equipment since the start of its military operation in Ukraine.
The so-called “anonymous officials” cited by The New York Times were later revealed to be members of the National Security Council of the White House.
In attempts to shift blame to China, these reports sought to portray China as acquiescing to or having tacitly supported the war. They are in essence part of the U.S. government’s deliberate disinformation campaign against China.
To debunk the absurd allegations and disinformation against China, one only needs to examine China’s relations with both Ukraine and Russia.
There were more than 6,000 Chinese nationals in Ukraine before the conflict, many of whom were young students. The Chinese embassy in Ukraine did not announce an evacuation of Chinese nationals until Feb. 25. If China had been aware of Russia’s plan in advance, it would have started the evacuation earlier rather than waiting until the conflict broke out and putting its nationals in great danger. In comparison, it was the United States that constantly played up the war threat and declared a hasty withdrawal of its personnel from Kiev as early as Feb. 14.
Economically, China has remained Ukraine’s largest single trading partner since 2019, and Ukraine has been one of China’s most important sources of grain imports. About 30 percent of China’s corn imports in 2021 came from Ukraine. Meanwhile, as a hub on the China-Europe Railway Express service, Ukraine also serves as a bridge connecting China and its European trade partners. As a participant of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Ukraine signed agreements on cooperation with China in multiple fields including finance, energy, technology, and infrastructure. With important economic interests in Ukraine, China has no wish whatsoever to see any conflict in Ukraine.
Most Western media reports deduced that China and Russia have forged a close alliance marked by “no limits” to their strategic partnership as declared in their Joint Statement. However, they simply ignored the real consideration behind that wording.
According to the Joint Statement, this partnership mainly concentrates on issues of development and global concerns, without any mention of military obligations in any form. In reality, “no limits” does not mean military alliance, but is rather about a high-level mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation.
On the contrary, from NATO to Quad, from AUKUS to bilateral alliances, the United States itself is a champion of military alliances or blocs. What an irony it is for the United States to accuse China and Russia of forming a military alliance, given its track record of military expansion and stoking conflicts around the world!
The hidden agenda behind the U.S. false propaganda is to incite anti-China sentiments, distort China’s position and efforts to promote peace talks, and divert world attention from the dirty U.S. role in the crisis by pushing for NATO’s reckless and relentless expansion, which eventually led to the current conflict. Till now, the United States has done everything to fan the flames, from providing military aid to wielding the baton of sanctions, but little to promote peace.
For those who regard the Ukraine crisis as an opportunity to sling mud at China, why not save the strength to de-escalate the situation and promote peace?