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Ukraine war latest: EU set to double weapons support for Ukraine to €1bn


Mainstream Chinese media coverage of the war in Ukraine focused on claims presented by Russia without evidence that the US was using Ukraine to research biological weapons, as concerns over China’s position on the conflict linger.

Coverage of the situation in Ukraine on the homepages of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, and Xinhua, the official state news agency, was limited, with just one direct reference to Ukraine on the former and two on the latter.

Xinhua, however, ran a story on Russian claims that the US funds biological research in Ukraine with the purpose of discovering how to covertly transmit dangerous pathogens. The US has denied the claims, which were presented without evidence.

China Central Television, the state-owned broadcaster, struck a similar note, running a segment asking, “Does the US have a biological military plan in Ukraine?”

English language coverage was even more hawkish, with the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid, asking, “What has [the] US done with bat coronavirus in Ukraine?” All three of the Global Times’ most read articles focused on the Russian claims.

A China Daily opinion piece urged readers not to compare the situation in Ukraine with that in Taiwan, blaming the war in the former on “geopolitical moves of some countries [which] posed a threat to the national security of another”, parroting Beijing’s line that Nato should respect Russia’s “legitimate security concerns”.

The piece argued that Taiwan, meanwhile, was led astray by “separatists” and foreign forces and that Beijing may be “forced” to invade.

Most Chinese media refrained from referring to an “invasion” or “war”, preferring to use Putin’s description of a “special military operation”.

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