Chinese FM debunks US media report claiming Beijing requested Moscow not to invade Ukraine during Winter Olympics
By Global Times Published: Jan 24, 2022 12:39 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday refuted a Bloomberg report which claimed that the Chinese leader allegedly asked Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade Ukraine during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. The ministry said that the news is fake, noting it's not only a slander and provocation to China-Russia relations but also interference with and sabotage against the Olympics.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, said at a routine press conference on Monday that such a despicable trick will not deceive the international community.
"I want to stress that today's China-Russia relations are mature, stable and resilient. The two sides have maintained close communication at all levels. Any attempt to drive a wedge between the two countries or challenge mutual trust is futile," Zhao said.
As supporters and practitioners of the Olympic spirit, the two countries have always opposed the politicization of sports and will not be influenced by certain international forces, Zhao noted.
"We are now in the final stage of preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. We are confident of presenting a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic Games to the world, and ensure a smooth and successful visit to Beijing by all leaders, including President Putin," Zhao stressed.
Earlier, the Chinese Embassy in Russia refuted the Bloomberg report. The embassy said in a statement sent to Russian media outlet TASS on Saturday that the news "is a hoax and provocation." The embassy noted that China's position on the Ukrainian issue is consistent and clear.
The embassy reiterated that China supports a proper settlement over the Ukraine issue through dialogue and consultation within the framework of the Minsk Agreement.
According to Russian media, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova debunked the fake news and called it "a special information operation by US respective agencies."
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