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Le: It’s absurd to blame China for Russia-Ukraine conflict

Chinese Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Yucheng speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, April 16, 2021. (MARK SCHIEFELBEIN / AP)

BEIJING – The accusations on China of taking responsibilities for the Ukraine crisis is absurd, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said Friday.

Le made the remarks when delivering a speech at an online dialogue of global think tanks of 20 countries. He said on the Ukraine crisis, some people made groundless allegations, distorted China's position and tried to make China take the blame for their own actions.

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said some people have twisted the words of the recent China-Russia joint statement and misinterpreted "friendship has no limits and cooperation has no forbidden areas" to mean that China had "prior knowledge" of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine and even "endorsed" it

He said some people have twisted the words of the recent China-Russia joint statement and misinterpreted "friendship has no limits and cooperation has no forbidden areas" to mean that China had "prior knowledge" of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine and even "endorsed" it. They have therefore concluded that China must be held accountable for the conflict.

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"This is absurd," Le said, adding that China is not involved in the conflict, still less the one who created it. So how could China be responsible?

Le noted that the relationship between China and Russia is based on the principles of non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties, and it is not subject to the influence of any third party. The description of "no limits" and "no forbidden areas" captures the current state and future prospects of China-Russia ties.

"The truth is, China desires friendly relations with all countries and we never set any limit on cooperation, nor do we see a need to do so," he said.

In response to the accusation that China stood on the wrong side of history for not joining the United States and other Western countries in condemning and sanctioning Russia, Le said since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, China has been committed to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principle of indivisible security.

"We have stood for fairness and justice, and made active efforts to encourage peace talks and provide humanitarian aid. China has no axe to grind or any geopolitical agenda on this issue," he said.

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Le said for quite some time, the United States has kept flexing its muscle on China's doorstep, creating exclusive groups against China and inflaming the Taiwan question to test China's red line.

"If this is not an Asia-Pacific version of NATO's eastward expansion, then what is? Such a strategy, if left unchecked, would bring horrible consequences and push the Asia-Pacific over the edge of an abyss," he said.

Le stressed that China is committed to peaceful development and seeks harmony, solidarity and cooperation in the region. China has never been a provocateur or troublemaker. It makes no sense to take aim at China. The attempt to "copy and paste" the Ukraine crisis in the Asia-Pacific is doomed to fail.