Ukraine saw missiles shower across their roofs on Thursday, and while world leaders denounced an invasion extending throughout the country, China refused to decry Russia’s actions directly, instead seeming to blame the United States and its allies.
On Thursday, a Chinese government leader dodged questions on whether it would decry Russia’s move or call it an “invasion.”
Instead, assistant Foreign Minister of China Hua Chunying was quick to implicate the US, hinting that Washington was a “culprit” for “fanning up flames,” pointing out the US warnings of a brewing invasion as of late.
Hua had reiterated statements about pursuing peace through dialogue and stated that the situation was “not what we would hope to see” before the invasion took place.
“China has taken a responsible attitude and persuaded all parties not to escalate tensions or incite war … Those who follow the US’ lead in fanning up flames and then shifting the blame onto others are truly irresponsible,” she stated.
The statements are in line with those conveyed a day previously, before the invasion, when Hua placed the fault of the crisis on “NATO expansion eastward all the way to Russia’s doorstep.”
She said, “Did it ever think about the consequences of pushing a big country to the wall?”
Hua’s presence at the briefing both days was strange. Since she was elevated to assistant minister for foreign affairs in October, the spokeswoman has not been at the podium in briefings.
Her statements are widespread throughout China’s official state media and social media platforms, where Ukraine talks span the coverage and conversation.
Many users have made the Russian invasion trending on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo, with “Ukraine President says Western countries completely give up on Ukraine” topping the list, gathering more than 1 billion views and thousands of comments.
Several comments cheer Russia and Putin and condemn Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for being “pro-West.”
However, some decried the idea of a war: “War is not funny at all,” commented one user. “It makes me feel physically sick to see all the jokes about war.”
Other major state media outlets in China have published news from both the Ukrainian and Russian sides while also paying attention to the sanctions attached by other nations against Russia.