China did not know in advance about Russia’s plan for a military operation against Ukraine, nor did Beijing support it, wrote Qin Gang, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, in an opinion piece appearing Tuesday in The Washington Post.
“Let me say this responsibly: Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation,” Qin said in the article, which he said aims to explain “fully” to the American people China’s stance on the Ukraine conflict and “dispel any misunderstandings and rumors.”
“All these claims serve only the purpose of shifting blame to and slinging mud at China,” the ambassador said.
Noting that there were over 6,000 Chinese citizens in Ukraine and that China is the biggest trading partner of both Ukraine and Russia, Qin said that conflict between Russia and Ukraine “does no good for China” and that China would have tried its best to prevent the war had it known about it in advance.
“On Ukraine, China’s position is objective and impartial,” the ambassador said. “The purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter must be fully observed; the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine, must be respected; the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously; and all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be supported.”
Regarding threats from some U.S. officials about sanctioning Chinese entities and businesses in a scenario — purported by Washington — where China provides assistance to Russia, Qin said the threats are unacceptable.
“Neither war nor sanctions can deliver peace. Wielding the baton of sanctions at Chinese companies while seeking China’s support and cooperation simply won’t work,” he said.
The ambassador also denounced those who have been trying to link the Ukraine crisis with the Taiwan question, saying doing so “is a mistake” and the two “are totally different things.”
“Ukraine is a sovereign state, while Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan question is a Chinese internal affair. It does not make sense for people to emphasize the principle of sovereignty on Ukraine while hurting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity on Taiwan,” Qin said.
The ambassador reiterated China’s resolve for national reunification, saying China is “committed to peaceful reunification, but we also retain all options to curb ‘Taiwan independence.'”
“We hope the United States earnestly abides by the one-China principle and does not support “Taiwan independence” separatism in any form. To ensure long-term peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, China and the United States must work together to contain ‘Taiwan independence,'” he said.
Qin also highlighted China’s efforts to push for peace talks between Ukraine and Russia and prevent a humanitarian crisis induced by the conflict.
The long-term peace and stability of Europe, the veteran diplomat said, “relies on the principle of indivisible security,” adding that China, whose ultimate purpose in the ongoing crisis is to seek an end to the war and support regional and global stability, “will continue to coordinate real efforts to achieve lasting peace.”