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China accuses US of raising tensions on Ukraine issue

BEIJING (AFP) – China yesterday accused the United States (US) of “raising tensions” and “creating panic” over the Ukraine crisis, shortly after Washington announced sanctions against Moscow and said it would continue to supply weapons to Ukraine against a Russian invasion.

Beijing has trod a cautious line on Ukraine as Moscow has massed thousands of troops on the borders, and criticised the West for new sanctions after Russia ordered troops into two breakaway Ukrainian regions it now recognises as independent.

US President Joe Biden earlier stressed that the penalties were only a “first tranche”, adding that more sanctions would come if Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his country’s military grip beyond the two territories in the region.

China lashed out at Washington over the sanctions yesterday and said it was raising tensions by sending weapons to Ukraine. The US actions were “raising tensions, creating panic, and even playing up the schedule of war”, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

“If someone is adding fuel to the fire while blaming others, then that behaviour is irresponsible and immoral,” she added.

She said China had “called on all parties to respect and attach importance to each other’s legitimate security concerns, strive to resolve issues through negotiation and consultation, and jointly maintain regional peace and stability”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk during their meeting in Beijing. PHOTO: AP