Western envoys to China lambast Russia over its war in Ukraine at Beijing forum

The Russia-Ukraine war is the “greatest threat to the world order”, United States Ambassador to China R Nicholas Burns said while criticising Moscow’s “special” military operation in Kyiv, at a forum in Beijing on Monday. In a rare event at the World Peace Forum in the Chinese capital, Burns was seated just next to their Russian counterpart for the diplomatic debate in the panel. Both US and Russian ambassadors to China went head-to-head in the discussion hosted by Beijing’s Tsinghua University and the World Peace Forum.

Burns said, “The fact that Russia crossed the border with an armed force, unprovoked, and has started this war with so much human suffering, so many innocent civilians dead in Ukraine — this is a direct violation of the United Nations charter, it is a direct violation of what the Russian Federation signed up to when it became a member state”, according to CNN.

While Russia has limited public statements about its war in Ukraine since February 24, Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov immediately hit back at his US counterpart and said, “I totally disagree and I can oppose each and every sentence of that intervention” before pausing for a “diplomatic courtesy”. Denisov then wished Burns and other Americans a happy Fourth of July. 

Additionally, the Russian Ambassador to China accused NATO of provoking Moscow’s action with “five waves of expansion”. As per the report, the Russian envoy then went on to paint the image of the current world order being on the edge of an abyss due to the “sabotage” of the United Nations (UN).

UK’s ambassador to China blames Russia for war

The discussion also included UK’s ambassador to China Caroline Wilson and France’s Laurent Bili. While the diplomatic event was a rare occurrence, Western officials staunchly criticised the Russian invasion of Ukraine which continues unabated. Echoing similar remarks as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Wilson told the panel, “The prime responsibility for the war is with Russia” and added, “NATO is a purely defensive alliance. NATO has acted with extraordinary restraint regarding Russia”.

It must be noted here that yje Chinese Communist Party has neither denounced Russia’s actions nor did it call it an invasion. However, while appearing to maintain distance from Russia over potential sanctions from the West, the Chinese state media has presented a carefully worded version of the war to its citizens, as per the report. China has parroted Kremlin talking points on NATO. 

Image: AP

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