The Biden administration reportedly provided China intelligence on Russia-Ukraine tensions in hopes the communist regime would help dissuade the Kremlin from invading, but Beijing did just the opposite, according to the Washington Times.
According to “a person familiar with the activity,” U.S. officials began passing detailed knowledge of “large-scale Russian troop movements near Ukraine’s border” to Chinese diplomats starting last December.
At first, Beijing dismissed the intelligence as American disinformation, the source said.
But once they realized the information was real, instead of helping smooth tensions between the two Eastern European nations, China told Moscow what it knew and assured the Russians that Beijing would not interfere with the Kremlin’s upcoming plans.
“Our information indicates that China then relayed that information to Russia, noting that the U.S. was attempting to sow division between China and Russia and that China would not try to dissuade Russia from invading,” the insider told the Times.
- As Battle for Kiev Rages, Putin Calls to Topple Ukraine’s Government
- Russian Invasion of Ukraine Casts an Ominous Shadow Over Taiwan
The intelligence-sharing continued for almost two months until Feb. 23, the day before Russian armed forces launched their full-scale offensive into the Ukraine.
Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in the U.S., noted recent calls between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as conversations between Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
Starting Feb. 23, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has blamed Washington and its allies for inflaming the crisis that led to war. She accused the U.S. of spreading a “false alarm” about Russia invading on Feb. 16.
On Feb. 25, Xi and Putin had a phone call in which Xi called upon Russia to negotiate an end to the conflict. However, a Foreign Ministry readout of the call indirectly accused the West of harboring a “Cold War mentality.”
Beijing remains one of the few countries that has not condemned the Russian invasion. While China has significant economic investments in Ukraine, its economic, political, and military partnerships with Moscow have deepened greatly over the last decade.
On Feb. 4, the two countries signed a 30-year agreement for a natural gas pipeline alongside a “no limits” pact as Putin met with Xi in Beijing.
“Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation,” Beijing and the Kremlin said in a joint statement.
The Chinese regime has not made any statement about receiving intelligence from the U.S. However, Liu said that “for some time, China communicated with relative parties, including Russia and the U.S., and has actively promoted the political settlement process of the Ukraine issue.”
On Feb. 24, a reporter asked U.S. President Joe Biden if Washington was working to have China put pressure on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
“I’m not prepared to comment on that at the moment,” Mr. Biden said.