China refuses to call Russian attack on Ukraine an ‘invasion’, blames US

Updated on Feb 24, 2022 04:24 PM IST

China refused to call Russia’s actions in the eastern European state an “invasion” and instead criticised the US and its allies for worsening the crisis.

A man holds a placard reading ‘Russian Soldiers Leave Ukraine’ as demonstrators protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (AFP)
A man holds a placard reading ‘Russian Soldiers Leave Ukraine’ as demonstrators protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Thursday in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. (AFP)
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China on Thursday repeated its call for talks to resolve the situation in Ukraine but refused to call Russia’s actions in the eastern European state an “invasion” and instead criticised the US and its allies for worsening the crisis.

Sidestepping a question on whether the Russian military’s attack on Ukraine early on Thursday was an invasion, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying instead said the “historical context is complicated” and that the current situation is “caused by all kinds of factors”.

“China is closely following the latest developments,” Hua said on Thursday, adding: “We still hope that the parties concerned will not shut the door to peace and engage instead in dialogue and consultation and prevent the situation from further escalating.”

China has blamed the US and its western allies in recent weeks for “hyping up” the crisis, with Hua saying at an earlier briefing on Wednesday that the US was “adding fuel to the fire”.

Chinese official media has continued to call the full-throttle attack on Ukraine by Russia as a “special military operation”, the phrase used by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Zhang Jun, Chinese ambassador to the UN, called on all parties involved in the crisis to remain restrained and avoid escalating the situation any further.

“China believes that the door to a peaceful solution to the Ukraine issue has not been completely closed and should not be closed. At present, to avoid intensifying conflicts, China will continue to promote peace and talks in its own way,” Zhang was quoted by state-controlled media as saying.

China has already strongly criticised the sanctions imposed by western countries on Russia with Hua calling them “illegal unilateral sanctions”.

The Chinese government’s position, she said, is that imposing sanctions has never been a fundamental and effective way to solve problems.

Earlier, the Chinese embassy in Ukrainian capital Kiev issued a warning to its citizens to stay home and place a Chinese flag inside or on their vehicle if they needed to travel long distances.

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