With the Russian invasion of Ukraine now five months in, China has issued its strongest condemnation of Washington's role in the crisis yet, essentially blaming the US for "creating" the conditions for the war.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said further in a press briefing earlier this week that while the US could be pursuing peace and formal talks between Russian and Ukraine, it is busy playing "world police" while fueling the conflict - and all the while trying to confront China - according to the words of foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
His scathing criticism perhaps marks the first time Beijing has officially and so bluntly charged that the US "started" or "created" the Ukraine war, while also repeating the frequent line of the US stoking a "new Cold War".
The FM spokesman said: "As the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, the US needs to deeply reflect on its erroneous actions of exerting extreme pressure and fanning the flame on the Ukraine issue and stop playing up bloc confrontation and creating a new Cold War by taking advantage of the situation," according to an official transcript.
"The US needs to facilitate a proper settlement of the crisis in a responsible way and create the environment and conditions needed for peace talks between parties concerned," he added.
Zhao said that on Ukraine, China's stance in opposition to the US represents "an objective and fair stance and stands on the side of peace and justice."
The official also addressed the latest Biden administration accusations that the Chinese government is behind the scenes assisting Moscow in both evading Western sanctions and supplying military hardware. The allegations out of the administration have been on repeat going back to the invasion's opening month. The State Department's Ned Price again recently threatened China with a "very steep price" if Beijing is caught doing so.
Zhao responded, "We firmly oppose any unwarranted suspicion, threat and pressure targeting China. We are also firmly against unilateral illegal sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction with no basis in international law."
He urged for US officials to stop playing up bloc confrontation and creating a new Cold War by taking advantage of the situation," and to instead provide the right conditions for ceasefire and peaceful settlement in Ukraine.