China has not supplied any arms or materiel to Russia since its war on Ukraine began, Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe said on Sunday.
Speaking at an Asian security meeting, Wei said China only sought peace and stability, and was not an aggressor.
He called on the US to “strengthen solidarity and oppose confrontation and division” after his counterpart, Lloyd Austin, denounced China’s increasingly aggressive military.
Austin said on Saturday there had been an “alarming” increase in the number of unsafe and unprofessional encounters between Chinese planes and vessels with those of other countries. He added that the US would stand by its allies, including Taiwan.
Wei said China firmly rejected the “US smearing, accusations and even threats” in Austin’s speech.
“We request the US side to stop smearing and containing China. Stop interfering in China’s internal affairs. The bilateral relationship cannot improve unless the US side can do that,” Wei, told the Shangri-La Dialogue.
Dressed in the uniform of a general in the People’s Liberation Army, Wei said it was up to the US to improve the bilateral relationship, as ties were at a critical juncture.
Wei said China supported peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and opposed “providing weapons, applying maximum pressure”.
“What is the root cause of this crisis? Who is the mastermind behind this? Who loses the most? And who stands to gain the most? Who is promoting peace and who is adding fuel to the fire? I think we all know the answers to these questions,” Wei said, without addressing them or stating China’s position.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell