China's ambassador to the United States said Sunday that allegations that his country is providing military assistance to Russia in its conflict with Ukraine is "disinformation".
"We reject that. What China is doing is sending food, medicine, sleeping bags and the baby formula," Ambassador Qin Gang told Margaret Brennan on the CBS News show Face the Nation.
Face the Nation is a weekly American news and morning public affairs program airing Sundays on the CBS radio and television network.
Brennan repeatedly pressed Qin on the premise despite the fact that the US and NATO are providing Ukraine with billions of dollars of military and other assistance and imposing sweeping economic sanctions on Russia. Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
"So President Biden asked Beijing not to provide any kind of support to Russia. Is it your intent to go ahead and give a lifeline to Vladimir Putin?" Brennan asked.
Qin replied: "On Friday, President Xi Jinping and the president, Biden, had a video call. It was candid, deep and constructive. President Xi Jinping gave China's position very clear, that is China stands for peace, opposes war.
"China is a peace-loving country. We hate to see the situation over Ukraine come to ... this, and we call for immediate cease-fire, and we are promoting peace talks, and we are sending humanitarian assistance," Qin continued.
"Will you send money and weapons to Russia, though?" Brennan persisted.
"Well, there's disinformation about China providing military assistance to Russia," Qin replied. "We reject that," he said, adding that China is not sending "weapons and ammunition to any party and we are against a war, as I said, you know, we will do everything to de-escalate the crisis".
Qin said Sino-Russo relations were "built over many years … we have a long, shared border, as long as over 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles), and we have a lot of common interests and … trust relations with Russia give us a unique position.
"China's trusted relations with Russia, it's not a liability, actually it's an asset in the international efforts to solve the crisis in a peaceful way," he said. "And China is part of the solution. It's not part of the problem."
"China has normal trade, economic, financial, energy cooperation with Russia," Qin replied. "As I said just now." He called the relationship "normal business between two sovereign countries … based on international order, laws, including WTO rules".
"China upholds the UN purposes and … and the principles, including that, the respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine," the ambassador said. "On the other hand, we do see that there is a complexity in the history of the Ukraine issue."
Qin added that, "China has good relations with Russia, has good relations with Ukraine, and China keeps close communications with the United States and with Europe. They enable China to reach out to all parties concerned in a crisis. So China's unique role … can help the peaceful settlement of the crisis."
"What we need is good diplomacy based on vision, wisdom and the courage, and looking ahead (to) the enduring approach to the security issue in Europe."