China touts ties with Russia, accuses US of being ‘main instigator of Ukrainian crisis’


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Zhang Hanhui, China’s ambassador to Moscow, touted his country’s close ties with Russia and accused the US of responsibility for the “Ukrainian crisis” in an interview with Russia’s state-owned news agency Tass on Wednesday.

“As the architect and main instigator of the Ukrainian crisis, Washington, while imposing unprecedented comprehensive sanctions on Russia, continues to supply Ukraine with arms and military equipment,” Zhang told a Russian news agency.

“Its ultimate goal is to empty and destroy Russia with a protracted war and sanctions stick.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow.
(REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool)

Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, resulting in the deaths of at least 5,400 civilians and the displacement of more than 10 million people, according to the United Nations.

Five months into the war, fighting in the eastern Donbass region has come together as Ukrainian forces try to hold Russia back from gaining any more ground.

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Putin sought to strengthen ties with China in the run-up to the invasion, visiting Beijing for the Winter Olympics and declaring in a 5,000-word joint statement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that there are “no limits” to the two countries’ partnership.

“Under the strategic direction of [China‚Äôs] President Xi Jinping and Pres [of Russia Vladimir] Putin, Sino-Russian relations have entered the best period in history, characterized by the highest level of mutual trust, the highest level of communication and the highest strategic importance,” Zhang told Tas.

While China appears to support Putin’s rationale for war, US officials have said the country has so far refused to provide any direct military aid or help circumvent Kremlin sanctions.

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The comments from China’s ambassador to Russia come amid rising tensions between the US and China over Taiwan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Taiwan earlier this month, prompting the Chinese military to conduct live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait after her departure.



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