March 5. 2024. 2:55

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China accuses US of double standards over Ukraine and Taiwan

China has accused the United States of a double standard in calling for Ukraine’s sovereignty to be respected while selling weapons to Taiwan. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Washington should stop misleading the world and accusing others of behaviour it was itself guilty of.

“The US keeps saying that territorial sovereignty must be respected but on the Taiwan question, the US has been walking on the edge and pushing the envelope. The US has broken its own political commitments and been selling sophisticated weapons to China’s Taiwan region,” she said.

“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 sanctions and put its domestic laws above the international law.”

[ China wary of US agenda after Ukraine war erodes relationship with Europe ]

Ms Mao was responding to US secretary of state Antony Blinken’s suggestion that if China was serious about its commitment to sovereignty, it would have spent the past year pressuring Russia to withdraw from Ukraine. He said China was instead advancing Russian propaganda and was contemplating the provision of lethal weapons to Moscow.

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Western political figures, including Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, have acknowledged that there is no evidence that China has provided lethal military aid to Russia. The United States and its allies have provided or promised €128 billion in military aid to Ukraine, according to a report last week by German think tank Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Washington has been sounding out allies about imposing new sanctions on China if it arms Russia, and German chancellor Olaf Scholz warned Beijing against any such move.

“My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to urge the withdrawal of Russian troops,” he told the Bundestag.

“And don’t deliver any weapons to the aggressor Russia.”

Taiwan’s defence ministry said China had sent 68 fighter planes and 10 warships close to the island since Monday after the US sent reconnaissance aircraft and bombers through the Taiwan Strait. The US confirmed this week that it had approved the sale of F-16 munitions and other equipment to Taiwan.

[ FBI director endorses theory Covid-19 virus may have leaked from Chinese lab ]

“Such sales undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests and harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes this. We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan and stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait. China will continue to take resolute and strong measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty and security interests,” Ms Mao said.

China this week dismissed comments by FBI director Christopher Wray lending credence to a conspiracy theory claiming that Covid-19 came from a laboratory leak in Wuhan. Beijing said that the World Health Organisation had concluded after field trips to the lab in Wuhan and interviews with researchers that it was “extremely unlikely” to have been the origin.