CHINA asked Russia to delay its invasion of Ukraine until after the Winter Olympics, according to reports.
The Winter Games in Beijing finished on February 20, four days before the beginning of the invasion.
A western intelligence report indicates senior Chinese officials had some level of knowledge about Russia’s plans, according to The New York Times.
And a source confirmed to Reuters that China was aware of the situation but could not provide exact details about what they knew.
But China has denied the claims, suggesting there is no evidence to support them.
Liu Pengyu, a spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, said: "The claims mentioned in the relevant reports are speculations without any basis, and are intended to blame-shift and smear China."
The US state department, the CIA and the White House national security council could not be reached for comment.
Vladimir Putin met with Xi Jinping ahead of the Winter Olympics and the pair signed documents relating to cooperation in the financial sector and on the supply of gas.
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The claims come as:
- Kyiv remains under siege as Russia continues to advance across the whole of Ukraine
- Kherson became the first city to be captured by Vladimir Putin's forces amid major bloodshed in Kharkiv, Mariupol and Chernihiv
- Hundreds of hero Ukrainians blocked Putin's troops as they advanced towards Europe's biggest power plant
- Russian soldiers were pictured crying and begging to return home after being captured
- Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov – who bankrolled Everton – had his £600million superyacht seized in Germany
- Russian tycoon Mikhail Watford was found hanged in the garage of his home in the UK
There is no evidence they discussed Russia's then imminent invasion of Ukraine.
But since Russian forces moved across the border China has denounced sanctions against Russia and blamed the US and its allies for provoking Moscow.
However, China has also called for an end to the war and could play a key role in peace talks between the two nations.
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