From Xinhua News Agency, March 3, 2022. Complete text:

Beijing – It is hoped that the initiators of the Ukraine crisis will reflect on their role in the crisis, and earnestly shoulder their due responsibilities instead of blaming others, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday [March 3].

Wang Wenbin made the comments at a daily press briefing in response to a New York Times article on Wednesday claiming that China asked Russia not to “invade” Ukraine until the end of the Beijing Winter Olympics. This shows that China had some degree of advance knowledge about Russia’s planned military action, the article said.

In response, Wang said that the report is pure false information. “This kind of diversion and blame shifting is despicable. It is very clear how the Ukrainian issue has evolved to this point. We all know what the crux of the problem is,” he said.

George Kennan, the former US ambassador to the Soviet Union, has recently been quoted in the international press as advising the administration in the 1990s that continued NATO expansion toward Russia would be the most fatal mistake of US policy, Wang noted.

“Regrettably, the US government wasn’t listening,” Wang added.

Thomas Friedman, a renowned US expert on international issues, recently published an article, pointing out that the US government should bear considerable responsibility for the deterioration of relations with Russia caused by its major mistake of greenlighting the NATO expansion, Wang noted.

“It is hoped that the initiators of the crisis will reflect on their role in the Ukraine crisis, earnestly shoulder their due responsibilities, and take action in real terms to ease the situation and solve problems, instead of blaming others,” he said.