China on Monday brushed off a U.S. allegation that Beijing is considering providing weapons to Russia to support its Ukraine war effort, saying Washington is "not qualified" to give orders to the Asian country.
"It is the United States, not China, that continuously supplies weapons to the battlefield," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press conference. "We never accept that the U.S. dictates China-Russia relations, or even coerces and pressures them."
His remarks came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with NBC News aired Sunday, "We are very concerned that China's considering providing lethal support to Russia in its aggression against Ukraine. And I made clear that that would have serious consequences in our relationship" with Beijing.
The interview followed a meeting Saturday between Blinken and Wang Yi, the Chinese Communist Party's top foreign policy official, on the sidelines of an international security conference in Munich, Germany.
The spokesman maintained Beijing will continue to "firmly stand on the side of dialogue and peace" to ease the situation over Ukraine and urged Washington to "stop shifting blame and spreading false information."
Wang Yi, who will visit Moscow as part of his European tour through Wednesday, may hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tass news agency reported Monday, quoting Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.