US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow shows China’s intent to provide “diplomatic cover” for Russia's "atrocities committed in Ukraine" instead of condemning them.
“That President Xi is traveling to Russia days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Putin suggests that China feels no responsibility to hold the Kremlin accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine, and instead of even condemning them, it would rather provide diplomatic cover for Russia to continue to commit those very crimes,” said Blinken at a news conference at the State Department on the release of the 2022 Human Rights Report.
However, Blinken said that “elements” of China’s peace proposal for the war were in line with efforts the US would support.
“China’s proposal includes elements that we have long supported, including ensuring nuclear safety, resolving the humanitarian crisis, protecting civilians and, indeed, the first element calls for upholding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all counties,” said Blinken.
But he said any calls for a ceasefire “that does not include the removal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory would effectively be supporting the ratification of Russian conquest” as it would “allow President Putin to rest and refit his troops, and then restart the war at a time more advantageous to Russia.”
“The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms,” said Blinken.