After meeting with the Mayor of Lviv, the Chinese Ambassador to Ukraine proclaimed that the PRC was a friend to the country, despite escalating claims that China is considering providing financial and military support to the beleaguered invader.
The Lviv government posted the comments, saying that he had claimed,
“China will never attack Ukraine… we will help”
Comments that Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian initially denied knowledge of, before later suggesting that they accurately reflect the position of the PRC.
In the initial days after the invasion began, Chinese media stances were unclear and seemed to lack stance guidances promulgated by the central government. In recent days though, the discourse has moderated to blaming the West and minimizing Russian responsibility.
Chinese media has mostly posited suggestions that the US and NATO were at fault for the invasion and that Russia was the victim, while also confusingly suggesting that Ukraine was the victim, and likening their claims over Taiwan to Ukraine’s relationship with the Donbas region. They have also parroted Russian propaganda regarding Ukraine’s biological labs.
They have yet to explicitly condemn Russia’s invasion of sovereign Ukraine and their demands that Russia not seek to join NATO, despite their half a century old stance that the principle foundation of international relations is the inviolability of sovereign borders, and non-interference in other countries.
This confusing double-speak has led to mixed messages from its diplomatic corps, and a lack of clarity regarding China’s degree of support for Russia’s invasion, or their willingness to get involved.