From Xinhua News Agency, March 26, 2023. Complete text:
Beijing – Since the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, the US has churned out fallacies to discredit China on a range of related issues and mislead the international community.
In fact, the US, the true initiator of this crisis, has been fueling tensions between Russia and Ukraine by providing military assistance to the latter, and has been reaping huge profits from the conflict. China, in contrast, always stands on the side of peace and has played a constructive role in advancing the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
US slanders are listed below with an account of facts to restore truths and offer a holistic perspective on the issue.
Fallacy 1: Citing comments of some senior US officials or reports from Western intelligence agencies, some US media accused China of having prior knowledge of Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine.
Truth: China has repeatedly refuted the claims that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported Russia’s military action, which are purely disinformation intended to shift blame to and sling mud at China.
There were more than 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine and China is the biggest trading partner of both Ukraine and Russia, as well as the largest importer of crude oil and natural gas in the world. A conflict between Russia and Ukraine does no good for China. China would have tried its best to prevent the conflict had it known about it in advance.
On the other hand, Russia is a sovereign country that independently weighs, decides and implements its foreign policy based on its own strategy and interests. There is no need to seek China’s consent beforehand.
It is worth mentioning that the China-Russia relationship features non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any third party. It differs from the practices of the US and several other Western countries that stick to the Cold War mentality of drawing ideological lines and adopting a friend-or-foe dichotomy, forming so-called “alliances” and “cliques,” and pursuing bloc politics that create confrontation and division.
Fallacy 2: The US accused China of amplifying Kremlin’s “propaganda and conspiracy theories” about Ukraine, spreading “false information” including that “the US is conducting bio-military activities in Ukraine,” “the US and NATO caused the Ukraine crisis” and “the US, especially the military-industrial complex, is the biggest beneficiary of the Ukraine crisis.”
Truth: China’s position on the Ukraine issue is above board, objective and fair. Relevant reports by the Chinese media were all based on facts.
First, on US bio-military activities in Ukraine, the Agreement Between the Department of Defense of the US of America and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Concerning Cooperation in the Area of Prevention of Proliferation of Technology, Pathogens and Expertise that could be Used in the Development of Biological Weapons signed by the two countries on Aug. 29, 2005, clearly stipulates that the US Department of Defense representatives shall have the right to participate in all related activities at facilities in Ukraine; all dangerous pathogens in Ukraine shall be stored at designated laboratories; Ukraine shall share with the US data generated by the relevant surveillance network, transfer to the US side requested copies of dangerous pathogen strains, and withhold information designated by the US side as “sensitive” from public disclosure.
In November 2021, the US admitted that it had 26 biolabs in Ukraine in its working document submitted to the meeting of the State Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention. According to a fact sheet released by the US Department of Defense in March 2022, the US was supporting 46 facilities in Ukraine.
On March 8, 2022, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland admitted at a Senate hearing that “Ukraine has biological research facilities, which, in fact, we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach.”
US media also criticized that the US government lied about the secret biological laboratories in Ukraine and concealed the real purpose of supporting these laboratories from the public.
According to public information, the US has conducted more bio-military activities than any other country in the world. It is also the only country that has used biological and chemical weapons in multiple wars, and the only country that opposes the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism for the Biological Weapons Convention, a public stand held by the US for more than two decades.
Second, the US and NATO caused the Ukraine crisis. In 1990, then US Secretary of State James Baker, during his meeting with leaders of the Soviet Union, promised clearly that NATO would move “not one inch eastward.”
A document disclosed by the National Archives of the United Kingdom showed that the US representative had promised in negotiations back then that NATO should not expand to the east either formally or unofficially.
However, under the domination of the US, NATO has expanded eastward five times since 1999, increased its membership from 16 to 30, and advanced more than 1,000 kilometers eastward right up to Russian borders, creating a C-shaped encirclement of the Black Sea.
Russia has for years proposed dialogue with the US on a new European security architecture, only to be ignored by the US side. In 2021, Russia offered to negotiate and sign a security guarantees agreement with NATO, but was stonewalled by the US and NATO.
The US and NATO, while fully aware of Russia’s security concerns, strengthened military assistance to Ukraine and helped it train military personnel. According to US media reports, former US officials said that the US has provided a large amount of advanced military training for Ukrainian elite troops and special operation forces. Since 2015, the CIA has conducted a series of intensive military training in Ukraine involving guns, land navigation and camouflage techniques. The program, which began under President Barack Obama, was expanded under President Donald Trump and further enlarged under the Joe Biden administration.
John Mearsheimer, a US political scientist, pointed out that “the West bears primary responsibility for what is happening today.” He said, “Here I’m talking about the West, we took a stick, and we poke the bear in the eye***and that bear is probably going to fight back, and that’s exactly what’s happening here.”
Former US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said in an interview if Biden simply promised not to include Ukraine into NATO, the current Russia-Ukraine conflict would have been prevented.
Third, the US military industrial complex has indeed raked in huge profits since the Russia-Ukraine conflict began. Since tensions surrounding Ukraine started to rise in October 2021, share prices of US military giants have kept shooting up. James Taiclet, chief executive of Lockheed Martin, said that competition between major powers would bring more business to the company.
The total value of State Department-authorized government-to-government foreign military sales was $51.9 billion in fiscal 2022, up 49.1% from the previous fiscal year’s $34.8 billion, according to data released by the Department of State, which attributed the increase mainly to US military support for Ukraine during the latter’s conflict with Russia.
The US has also used the Ukraine crisis to push its allies to impose tough economic sanctions and even an energy embargo on Russia. US energy companies cashed in on the crisis and sold to Europe a large amount of oil and gas at a high price.
According to Kpler, a data and analytics firm, the EU imported 38.86 million [metric] tons of LNG in 2022 from the US, which accounted for roughly 41% of the EU’s total LNG imports and increased by 23.59 million tons compared with 2021, a year-on-year rise of 154%.
The US became the world’s largest LNG exporter in the first half of 2022, up 12% from the second half of 2021, largely driven by surging demand in Europe, data from the US Energy Information Administration showed.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in October 2022, criticized the US practice of enjoying low energy prices at home while exporting at record high prices to reap super profits from the geopolitical conflict. Speaking to American and Norwegian entrepreneurs, he said, “You supply us with energy and gas, but one thing that can’t go on for too long is us paying four times more than the price you sell to your industry.”
Fallacy 3: The US accused China of not condemning or sanctioning Russia, falsely claimed that China has no intention to participate in any form of diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine issue, slandered China’s strategy as unconstructive and attempted to portray China as being irresponsible.
Truth: China’s position on the Ukraine issue has been objective and just. China always stands on the side of peace and has played a constructive role in advancing the political settlement of the crisis. Chinese President Xi Jinping outlined four principles, called for joint efforts in four areas and shared three observations on Ukraine. He noted perceptively that conflicts and wars produce no winner; there is no simple solution to a complex issue; and confrontation between major countries must be avoided. This points the right way forward for the de-escalation of tensions and political settlement of the crisis.
On Feb. 18, 2023, Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, answered a question concerning China’s stance at the 59th Munich Security Conference. He said the Ukraine crisis is not what China would like to see, and China is also concerned that the Russia-Ukraine conflict might be escalated and protracted.
China is not a party directly involved, but does not choose to be a bystander or add fuel to the fire, and still less exploits the crisis, Wang said, noting that everything China has been doing on the Ukraine issue is to facilitate peace talks.
The US is the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, and has kept sending heavy and assault weapons to Ukraine, which has only prolonged and intensified the conflict. The international community is fully aware who is calling for dialogue and striving for peace, and who is fanning the flames and stoking confrontation.
Fallacy 4: The US has repeatedly accused China of providing “non-lethal assistance” to Russia through Chinese-funded enterprises, and claimed that China began to consider providing “lethal assistance” to Russia.
Truth: The so-called intelligence by the US is nothing more than groundless rumors and slander. US officials themselves have acknowledged that there is no indication that China has decided to supply Russia with weapons, but meanwhile they said they believe the possibility still exists.
The China-Russia relationship is built on the basis of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third countries, which is within the sovereign right of any two independent states. China engages in normal economic and trade cooperation with all countries, including Russia, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. China-Russia cooperation is completely above board. It serves the purpose of delivering benefits to both peoples and promoting global growth. It shall be free from disruption or coercion from any third party.
China always handles export of military items in a prudent and responsible manner and regulates export of dual-use articles in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. At the same time, China is consistently opposed to unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction with neither basis in international law nor United Nations Security Council mandate. China’s consistent position and practice stand in sharp contrast with the acts of the US that applies double standards on arms sales and keep adding fuel to the fire on the Ukraine crisis.
By the end of February 2023, the US had provided Ukraine with over $32 billion of military aid, including large quantities of advanced armament. The US has been pouring weapons into one side of the conflict, thus prolonging the fight and making peace elusive, while spreading disinformation that China would supply weapons to Russia and sanctioning Chinese companies under that pretext. This is out-and-out hegemonism and double standard, and absolute hypocrisy.
Fallacy 5: The US claims it is now facing two global powers – China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities, and both intending to fundamentally change the current “rules-based order,” and it is concerned because China and Russia share a vision. The US has also repeatedly accused China of posing the “most serious long-term challenge” to the international order.
Truth: China always pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and adheres to the military strategic guideline of active defense. Since its founding, the People’s Republic of China has never invaded other countries, never engaged in proxy wars, never sought spheres of influence, nor participated in any military bloc confrontation.
The growth of China’s military strength is a growth of the force for peace in the world. China has been committed to the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law. China has been upholding true multilateralism, working for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations, and making global governance more just and equitable.
When it comes to China-Russia relationship, the two countries always follow the path of partnership over alliance and dialogue over confrontation, and grow a new type of major-country relations featuring mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation. The way China and Russia develop the strategic partnership of coordination will benefit the two peoples and the world at large. It is entirely different from what certain countries have been doing, including holding on to the Cold War mentality, ganging up with other countries, forming cliques and stoking bloc confrontation, and engaging in hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices.
The US has wantonly accused China of attempting to change the “rules-based international order,” but it is actually worried that the US “hegemonic order” is affected, and that the “rules of the gang” set up and packaged by the US as international rules to contain and suppress other countries are challenged and rejected.
The US is the No.1 warmonger in the world. It was not at war for only 16 years throughout its 240-plus years of history and accounted for about 80% of all post-World War II (WWII) armed conflicts.
The US is also the No.1 violator of sovereignty and interferer in the internal affairs of other countries. According to reports, since the end of WWII, it has sought to subvert more than 50 foreign governments, grossly interfered in elections in at least 30 countries and attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders.
The country is also the No.1 source of antagonism and bloc confrontation. The US-led NATO is responsible for wars on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria that killed more than 900,000 people and created 37 million refugees. It has also made the Eurasia continent a less stable place. The impact of US-initiated QUAD and AUKUS on Asia-Pacific security and stability also calls for vigilance.
Fallacy 6: The US has applied the principle of sovereignty selectively. It has repeatedly hyped up the fallacy that “China bears responsibility” by falsely claiming that “China’s position on the Ukraine issue contradicts China’s long-standing principle of respecting state sovereignty and territorial integrity” and that “China has the obligation to urge Russia to make concessions on the Ukraine issue.”
Truth: China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and stays unchanged. China’s remarks are in line with its position that regional hotspot issues should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. China always upholds objectivity and fairness, stands for peace and justice, decides its position based on the merits of the matter concerned, and believes that all countries should settle international disputes in a peaceful way in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
The first article of China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis is about respecting the sovereignty of all countries: “Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, must be strictly observed. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. All parties should jointly uphold the basic norms governing international relations and defend international fairness and justice. Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected.”
The US says there’s desire for peace to prevail, yet it has waged wars and stoked confrontation around the world. The US says it’s important to respect and uphold the international order, yet it has slapped massive unilateral illegal sanctions and put its domestic laws above the international law. The US says competition must be fair, yet it has been cracking down on foreign companies by using all kinds of state apparatus and defying international trade rules. It is clear who should bear the responsibility for obstructing world peace and development.