Senior Chinese officials had requested Russia in early February to delay the invasion of Ukraine until after the Beijing Winter Olympics came to an end, said US officials citing a western intelligence report, indicating that China had some knowledge of Putin’s plans weeks before the operation, reported The New York Times.
The intelligence report contained an exchange between the Chinese and Russian officials and the information was considered authentic by officials from the Biden administration and one European official who reviewed the report, as per The New York Times.
US officials said that Washington had informed Chinese officials of the increasing Russian army presence around Ukraine ahead of the invasion so that Beijing could persuade Putin to stand down his troops, per another NYT report.
'Claims Intended to Smear China': Embassy in US
However, China has refuted allegations. Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington, said:
"The claims mentioned in the relevant reports are speculations without any basis, and are intended to blame-shift and smear China."
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, just days after the Winter Olympics in Beijing ended.
President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a meeting on 4 February and formed an upgraded "no limits" partnership in order to allegedly collaborate more against the West.
(With inputs from Reuters and The New York Times)
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