Beijing dismisses as ‘disinformation’ US claims it’s considering sending Russia weapons

BEIJING (Sputnik): Ever since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the US has claimed China was preparing to send them weapons and threatened Beijing with the same kind of economic sanctions as the US has put against Russia.

The Chinese government on Monday reasserted its right to have normal relations with any countries it wishes, even if the US doesn’t like them. Beijing has maintained relations with both Ukraine and Russia in the year since the conflict began, and encouraged a peaceful resolution.

The Biden administration has renewed its accusations that China is preparing to ship weapons to Russia to be used in Ukraine, as well as its threats to punish China if it does so. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told US media on Sunday that “if it [China] goes down that road it will come at real costs to China.”

When asked about Sullivan’s comments, Mao Ning, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Monday that “the US is in no position to point fingers at China-Russia relations.”

“On the Ukraine issue, China has been actively promoting peace talks and the political settlement of the crisis,” she said.

“In addition to pouring lethal weapons into the battlefield in Ukraine, the US has been selling sophisticated weapons to the Taiwan region in violation of the three China-US joint communiqués,” Mao noted. “What exactly is the US up to? The world deserves to know the answer.”

While the US has only claimed that Beijing is planning on sending weapons to Russia – and reports in US media only citing anonymous people “familiar with the matter” – the US Treasury has moved ahead with sanctioning several Chinese companies nonetheless. Victoria Nuland, the US under secretary of State for political affairs, said on Thursday the sanctions would target several Chinese companies she accused of “sneaking up to the edge and trying to provide” weapons to Russia.

The reports did not mention which companies had been sanctioned. However, last month, the US sanctioned Chinese satellite company Spacety for allegedly providing satellite photos to the Wagner Private Military Contractor, which is engaged with Ukrainian forces at the front.

Mao told reporters in Beijing on Monday that the US was “spreading disinformation that China would supply weapons to Russia and sanctioning Chinese companies under that pretext.” She called the move an example of “out-and-out hegemonism and double standard, and absolute hypocrisy.”

Mao also noted that the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a position paper on the Ukraine crisis on the first anniversary of the special operation, in which Beijing proposed conditions for a peace settlement and offered to mediate the talks.

While the West has largely dismissed China’s 12-point proposal as too favorable to Moscow, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was intrigued by it, and intended to discuss it with Chinese President Xi Jinping directly. The proposal calls for a ceasefire before the talks begin.

“[It is important] to abandon the Cold War mentality. The security of one country cannot be achieved at the expense of the security of other countries, and regional security cannot be achieved at the expense of strengthening or even expanding military blocs,” the document read. “Legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and duly respected.”

Moscow launched the operation in February 2022 after months of talks with NATO about security red lines, which included Ukraine’s future membership in the alliance and its potential to serve as a base for offensive weapons against Russia, failed to yield results. The operation aims to make Ukraine a neutral state, as well as to end attacks on Russian-speakers in the Donbass by neo-Nazis groups that enjoy patronage from the government in Kiev. The US has funneled more than $100 billion in various kinds of support to that government, which it helped install in a 2014 coup d’etat.

“Who is promoting peace and deescalation, and who is fueling the tension and making the world more unstable? The answer is fairly obvious,” Mao asserted.