Chinese PM calls Russia’s nuclear threats ‘irresponsible’

14 November 2022, 02:44 PM
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (Photo:REUTERS/Cindy Liu)

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (Photo:REUTERS/Cindy Liu)

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang has said that the nuclear threats made by the Russian Federation are irresponsible, Reuters reported on Nov. 14, citing a senior U.S. official.

Li made the comments while attending the East Asia Summit along with U.S. President Joe Biden. According to an unnamed U.S. administration official, the Chinese premier “spoke rather extensively about China's policy towards Ukraine.”

According to the official, Li “put clear emphasis on sovereignty, on the irresponsibility of nuclear threats, the need to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used in the way that some have suggested.”

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The official also quoted Li as saying that there is “certainly some discomfort in Beijing about our strategic partner Russia’s reckless rhetoric and activity,” despite the formal partnership with Moscow.

"I think it is also undeniable that China is probably both surprised and even a little bit embarrassed by the conduct of Russian military operations," the official said.

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to hold a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the G20 summit on Nov. 14. This will be the first face-to-face meeting of the two leaders.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on Sept. 21 once again threatened Western countries with the use of nuclear weapons, saying that “this is not a bluff.”

Ukrainian intelligence has stated that they consider the threat of Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons against Ukraine to be very high. However, according to Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the GUR, Russia will not launch a nuclear strike in the near future.

The United States said that in the event of the use of nuclear weapons by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the response of Washington and its allies will be “decisive.”

At the same time, U.S. President Joe Biden has said he does not believe that Putin will use tactical nuclear weapons.

Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the West would give a strong military response to Russia in the event of Moscow using nuclear weapons against Ukraine.

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