After Chinese President Xi Jinping declared his support for Russia’s “sovereignty and security” during a Wednesday phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the US State Department said countries siding with the Kremlin over the invasion of Ukraine will be “on the wrong side of history”, the Washington Post reported.
Xi said China is “willing to work with Russia to continue supporting each other on their respective core interests concerning sovereignty and security,” according to a readout of the call published by the official state news agency, Xinhua.
Beijing has refused to condemn the Kremlin’s actions since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24th.
The Kremlin’s account of the call said Xi “noted the legitimacy of the actions taken by Russia to protect the fundamental national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces.”
After the call, a State Department spokesperson said “More than three months into Russia’ brutal invasion, China is still standing by Russia. It is still echoing Russian propaganda around the world … it is still denying Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine by suggesting instead that they were staged… Nations that side with Vladimir Putin will inevitably find themselves on the wrong side of history.”
Beijing has long-standing ties with Ukraine and has called for an end to the war. Nevertheless, it has refused to condemn Moscow.
“China claims to be neutral, but its behavior makes clear that it is still investing in close ties to Russia,” the State Department spokesperson said. “The United States and Europe have warned China against providing Russia military assistance or systematic assistance with sanctions evasion. We are monitoring China’s activity closely.”
According a Chinese readout of the call, Xi told Putin “all parties should push for a proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis in a responsible manner.”