In his first news conference since taking office, China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday condemned US comments about China’s stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “absolutely unacceptable.”
“China did not create the crisis. It is not the party to the crisis and has not provided weapons to either side of the conflict,” Qin said at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing Congress meeting.
Beijing claims to have a neutral role in the war that began one year ago but has also said it has a “no limits friendship” with Russia and has refused to criticise Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, or even refer to it as an invasion.
Beijing has accused the West of provoking the conflict and “fanning the flames” by providing Ukraine with weapons to fend off the Russian invasion.
A Chinese peace proposal for Ukraine that has drawn praise from Russia but dismissals from the West has done nothing to reduce tensions as US officials have repeatedly in recent days accused China of considering providing weapons to Russia for use in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
China FM urges US to restrain Taiwan independence
This is not the first time tensions have threatened to boil over between the two superpowers. Minister Qin Gang also commented on Washington’s continued support for Taiwan.
The head of Chinese diplomacy says Beijing reserves the right to take “all necessary measures” to make sure self-governed Taiwan doesn’t become officially independent from the mainland, Qin said.
He said the Taiwan question is the bedrock of China-US relations.
He called for the US to stop using Taiwan as a tool against China.
Qin, who served briefly as ambassador to Washington, was appointed foreign minister at the end of December, a role in which he is junior to the Communist Party’s senior foreign policy official, Wang Yi.