China says US wants Ukraine conflict to drag on, weaken Russia

China says US wants Ukraine conflict to drag on, weaken Russia

Washington wants the conflict to drag on and weaken Russia, Beijing claims.

The US isn't interested in peace in Ukraine but is doing everything possible to make the conflict last as long as possible, said Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.

While the international community is calling for the end to hostilities, the US keeps adding fuel to the fire and showing readiness to fight until the last Ukrainian, Zhao insisted, referring to the ongoing financial aid and deliveries of weapons from Washington to Kiev.

Their goal isn't achieving peace but making sure that the conflict drags on. The Americans say they're trying to weaken Russia, and they're looking to weaken Russia, he said.

The spokesman said that as for whether the US brings peace or war, security or chaos or war, I suppose we all know the answers to those questions.

The US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin acknowledged earlier this week that Washington wanted to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can't do the kinds of things it has done in Ukraine by helping Kiev. On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress for an additional $33 billion in funding to prop up Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia.

On the same day, the US lawmakers voted in a lend-lease scheme for Kiev. If approved by President Joe Biden, it would make it easier for Washington to send arms to Ukraine, but the country would eventually have to pay for those deliveries. Moscow has warned that the move could see Ukraine land in a debt pit that will affect the nation for generations.

The events in Ukraine have added to the tension between Washington and Beijing. Despite all its efforts, the Biden administration has not been able to pressure China to condemn Russia and join international sanctions against it.

Beijing has called for peace in Ukraine, but blamed the outbreak of the conflict on the US and its push to expand NATO close to the Russian border.

Russia sent troops to Ukraine in late February, after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow's eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered Minsk Protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join NATO. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive is unprovoked and has denied it plans to retake the two republics by force.