China says it will 'never attack Ukraine' amid reports that Russia asked for military support

A composite image pf Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (L) and Chinese premier Xi Jinping.
A composite image of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R).Ukrainian Presidential Office; Huang Jingwen/Xinhua via Getty Images
  • Multiple reports say Russia recently reached out to China for military assistance, which China denied.

  • China's ambassador to Ukraine said his country "will never attack Ukraine."

  • China's US ambassador also rubbished the reports and disputed claims China knew about Putin's plans to invade.

China's ambassador to Ukraine said his country will "never attack Ukraine" following reports that Russia asked China for military and economic support for its invasion of Ukraine.

US officials said Russia recently reached out to China to ask for military assistance and economic aid to help with the invasion and to offset the impact of Western sanctions, according to multiple reports published Sunday.

China's foreign ministry denied the reports and accused the US of "spreading disinformation."

At a Monday meeting with Maxim Kozitsk, the head of the regional military administration in Lviv, Ukraine, Chinese ambassador to Ukraine Fan Xiangong said China wanted to help rebuild Ukraine, not add to its suffering.

"China will never attack Ukraine, we will help, particularly in the economic direction," Fan said, according to a transcript from the Lviv government.

Fan did not give remarks on China's stance on providing military aid, according to the transcript.

"We are ready to help you develop. In this situation, which you have now, we will act responsibly. We have seen how great the unity of the Ukrainian people is," he said.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Tuesday, Qin Gang, China's ambassador to the US, tried to clear the record about China's stance on Ukraine, saying it only wanted an end to the bloodshed.

Qin again disputed claims that China knew about Putin's invasion in advance, and also rubbished reports saying Russia asked China for military and economic aid. Reports published earlier this month said senior Chinese officials had asked Russia to delay its invasion of Ukraine until after the Winter Olympics.

Qin said: "Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation. All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China."

"Had China known about the imminent crisis, we would have tried our best to prevent it."

Though China has called for the war to end, it has avoided assigning responsibility for the Ukraine crisis.

"China's position is objective and impartial," Qin wrote.

"China will continue to coordinate real efforts to achieve lasting peace. We stand ready to do whatever we can and work with other parties. Our ultimate purpose is the end of war and support regional and global stability."

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