China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday denied a recent report by Bloomberg alleging Chinese dictator Xi Jinping asked Russian leader Vladimir Putin “not to invade Ukraine” during the 2022 Winter Olympics, saying the U.S.-based media company fabricated the claim “out of thin air” in an attempt “to smear and drive a wedge in China-Russia relations.”
TASS, Russia’s state-owned news agency, asked Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian about the Bloomberg article, published on January 21, during a regular press conference on January 24.
“The report was purely made up out of thin air,” Zhao responded.
“It seeks not only to smear and drive a wedge in China-Russia relations, but also to deliberately disrupt and undermine the Beijing Winter Olympics,” he said.
“Such a despicable trick cannot fool the international community,” Zhao added.
The Chinese Embassy in Russia also refuted Bloomberg’s report on January 23, labeling it “a hoax and provocation.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the Bloomberg article as “a special information operation by US respective agencies” in statements shared by her Telegram channel on January 22.
“I understand that, in the US media’s version, Russia should have ‘invaded’ [Ukraine] a long time ago,” Zakharova wrote.
“But we have never ‘invaded.’ By their logic, it is the perfect moment — the Olympics in China, which the US media have been smearing for months at Washington’s behest. Bloomberg mixes the two topics and shoots, but misses,” she opined.
China’s state-run Global Times on January 24 described the Bloomberg piece as “disinformation” reflecting the “ill intention of the Western forces trying to instigate divergences between Beijing and Moscow.”