Qin also criticized Washington’s decision early last month to shoot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina, repeating Beijing’s insistence that it appeared over U.S. territory by accident.

“The U.S. side violated the spirit of international law and international practice by making presumptions of guilt, overreacting, abusing force, and making use of the issue to create a diplomatic crisis that could have been avoided,” he said.

On Taiwan, the self-ruling island that Beijing claims as its territory, Qin said it was the first red line in China’s relations with the U.S., which is Taiwan’s most important international backer.

“The U.S. bears unshirkable responsibility for the creation of the Taiwan issue,” he said.

Qin said the U.S. had disrespected China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by providing defensive weapons to the island, which Beijing has said it could take by force if necessary, even as the U.S. warns China not to supply arms to Russia for its war against Ukraine.

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine a year ago, and China has tried to appear neutral in the conflict, refraining from condemning Russian aggression or even calling it an invasion. Qin said Tuesday that China-Russia relations “must move steadily forward” as the world becomes more turbulent.

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But Beijing strongly denies U.S. allegations that it is considering providing Moscow with ammunition and artillery to aid its fight against Kyiv.

“China is neither the creator of the crisis nor a party to it, nor has it provided weapons to any party to the conflict, so why should China be blamed, sanctioned, pressured or even threatened?” Qin said.

He repeated earlier calls for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine conflict, though a 12-point peace proposal that Beijing issued last month was quickly dismissed by Western officials as too favorable to Russia.

“It is regrettable that efforts to persuade and promote talks have been undermined,” Qin said, “as if an invisible hand is pushing the conflict to escalate, taking advantage of the Ukrainian crisis to achieve certain geopolitical intentions.”

Eric Baculinao reported from Beijing, and Jennifer Jett from Hong Kong.