China warns against using war as smokescreen for bargaining on Ukraine

To resolve the Ukraine tensions politically, war should not be used as a smokescreen for bargaining, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Friday.

A troop train crosses Crimean Bridge, carrying Russian military hardware from recent drills in Crimea back to deployment sites in Russia's Southern Military District, February 16, 2022. (Photo: CFP)

Wang made the remarks at a regular press briefing in response to a question about U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's latest accusation against Russia amid the Ukraine crisis.
Blinken warned at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday that Russia was going to try to "manufacture a pretext for invasion" through a sort of "false-flag" incident in the coming days, citing U.S. intelligence. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin called Blinken's accusation "baseless."
Wang said the credibility of U.S. intelligence agencies has been tested on issues related to Iraq and Ukraine.

The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 to look for "weapons of mass destruction" but did not find any. The U.S. claimed that Russia could "invade" Ukraine on February 16 but no war broke out.
Wang warned against attempts to use war as a smokescreen for bargaining over the Ukraine crisis, threaten to impose sanctions, or stir up confrontation between blocs.
He called on relevant sides to conduct dialogue and negotiations on the basis of the Minsk Agreements, properly address the legitimate security concerns of relevant sides including Russia, and strive for a comprehensive settlement of the Ukraine crisis and other relevant issues.
The Minsk Agreements, reached in September 2014 and February 2015 respectively, outline the steps needed to end the conflict between Ukrainian government troops and armed groups in Donbas, which has left some 14,000 dead since April 2014.