Beijing blames NATO for Ukraine crisis

China’s foreign ministry has rejected Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s claim that it is “fueling” the conflict

NATO bears direct responsibility for the Ukraine conflict, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a press briefing on Friday in response to criticisms raised by the US-led military bloc.
On Thursday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called out Beijing for supposedly supporting Russian weapons manufacturing through exporting dual-use components to the country.
“China says it wants good relations with the West. At the same time, Beijing continues to fuel the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War Two. They cannot have it both ways,” the official warned.
Wang rejected the claim, saying that it’s based on nothing but rumors. The official stated that China hadn’t started the Ukraine crisis and that NATO’s responsibility for it was “unshiftable.” He added that the US-led military bloc “should reflect on its role, stop shifting the blame, and do something practical to promote a political settlement.”

According to Beijing, NATO’s expansion in Europe and refusal to take Russian national security concerns into consideration had triggered the hostilities. A roadmap to peace that China proposed in early 2023 called for that core problem to be addressed.
Kiev rejected a potential peace treaty with Moscow which the parties had negotiated in the early weeks of the conflict, and opted for a continuation of hostilities. The US and its allies have vowed to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes” to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia. On Tuesday, Moscow said that Ukrainian military casualties since February 2022 were approaching 500,000.
In his rebuke of Beijing, Stoltenberg declared that in 2023 “Russia imported 90% of its microelectronics from China, used to produce missiles, tanks and aircraft.” Wang said Chinese trade was above board, and claimed that “more than 60% of weapons parts and dual-use items imported by Russia come from the US and the West.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently visiting Beijing. He reportedly intends to use the threat of financial restrictions, which Washington is poised to impose on Chinese banks involved in trade with Russia, as leverage. During his meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday, the latter warned that US attempts to infringe on “China’s legitimate development rights” were undermining bilateral relations.