China Refuses to Acknowledge Russian Invasion of Ukraine

China Refuses to Acknowledge Russian Invasion of Ukraine

China has declined to label Russia’s attack on Ukraine an invasion, choosing instead to equivocate with a call for “all sides” to deescalate the situation.

“China is closely monitoring the latest situation. We call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent the situation from getting out of control,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told journalists at a press conference on Thursday.

Hua refused to characterize Russia’s attack as an invasion.

“This is perhaps a difference between China and you Westerners. We won’t go rushing to a conclusion,” Hua said. “Regarding the definition of an invasion, I think we should go back to how to view the current situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainian issue has other very complicated historical background that has continued to today.”

Following intensive aerial bombardment beginning Thursday morning local time, Russian troops invaded Ukraine from the east and from Ukraine’s northern border with Belarus, with hundreds of casualties reported on Thursday morning, although it was not immediately clear how many of the casualties were dead or wounded. Russia also conducted air assaults throughout the country, and captured the Antonov Airport 25 miles from the capital of Kyiv, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, nine Chinese fighter jets entered Taiwan’s air defense zone on Thursday, according to the Taiwan Defense Ministry. While the breach was not as large as an incursion on January 23, when 39 Chinese aircraft buzzed Taiwanese air space, China’s air force has regularly flown jets into Taiwan’s air defense zone over the past several years.

China views Taiwan as belonging to the mainland, while Taiwan has claimed independence. China Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei urged the U.S. to stop “interfering” on the subject of Taiwan, in comments on Thursday.

“We urge the U.S. side to recognise the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and stop playing with fire on the Taiwan issue,” Tan told reporters.

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