China accused the United States of “increasing tension” and “creating panic” about the Ukraine crisis on Wednesday, shortly after the United States announced sanctions against Russia and said it would continue to supply Ukraine in case of a Russian invasion.
Beijing took a cautious stance on Ukraine as Moscow mobilized thousands of troops on its border and criticized the West for new sanctions after Russia ordered troops in two separate regions of Ukraine that it now recognizes as independent.
US President Joe Biden previously added that more sanctions would come if Russian President Vladimir Putin extended Russia’s military dominance beyond eastern Donbas to two regions.
China condemned US sanctions on Wednesday, saying it was sending weapons to Ukraine to escalate tensions.
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) told reporters that the United States’ actions were “to escalate tensions, create panic, and even promote a war schedule.”
When asked about China’s role in resolving the situation, she added: “It is irresponsible and immoral for someone to add fuel to a fire while blaming others.”
She said China urged all parties to respect and attach importance to each other’s legitimate security issues, strive to resolve issues through negotiations and consultations, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
When asked if China would impose sanctions on Russia, spokesperson Hua added that China believes that “sanctions have never been a fundamental and effective way to solve a problem”.
In addition to the United States, Britain, the European Union, Japan and Australia have also issued penalties after Putin’s decision to send troops to Donetsk and Lugansk.
On Tuesday, Biden said the US would continue to supply Ukraine with “defense” weapons against a Russian invasion and would deploy US forces to bolster NATO alliances in Eastern Europe.
“I’m going to make it clear that this is a completely defensive move on our part,” former Vice President Biden said in a televised speech at the White House.