Chinese FM urges US to address mounting doubts over its silence on Nord Stream pipeline sabotage
Published: Jun 13, 2023 07:46 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

The Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated on Tuesday that it is crucial to conduct an objective, fair, and professional investigation into the Nord Stream pipeline explosion and hold those responsible accountable, after some media reported that German investigators are looking into details about the explosion orchestrated by a sabotage group and the US had knowledge of a plan to attack the pipeline three months before the explosion occurred.

We have noticed the relevant reports. China has repeatedly expressed that protecting the security of critical infrastructure is a common concern of the international community, Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told the Global Times during a press conference on Tuesday. 

"It has been over eight months since the Nord Stream explosion, but the progress of the investigation has been incredibly slow. What surprises us is the silence of the US, which is usually adept at leveraging hot-button issues and seeking to play a so-called 'beacon' role," Wang said. 

German investigators are examining evidence that suggests a sabotage team used Poland, a European Union and NATO member, as an operating base to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines built to transport Russian gas through the Baltic Sea, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. 

The Washington Post also recently reported that three months before saboteurs bombed the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines, the Biden administration learned from a close ally that the Ukrainian military had planned a covert attack on the undersea network, using a small team of divers who reported directly to the commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces.

Wang gave an example from the past to illustrate his point during the press conference. In April 2011, when Syria experienced unrest, the US proposed a motion to the UN, requesting the UN Human Rights High Commissioner's Office to send an investigation team to Syria to investigate potential violations of international human rights law. 

On the April 29, the US announced that it had determined that Syria was severely violating human rights and imposed sanctions on some Syrian individuals and entities. In just one week, the US had gone from investigation to imposing sanctions, Wang said. 

"Compared to the 'efficient' approach of the US, its inaction on the Nord Stream issue is puzzling. What is the reason for the US silence? Does the Nord Stream incident hold any uncomfortable truths for the US? When does the US plan to address the doubts and concerns of the international community?" Wang asked. "I think the US owes an explanation to the international community regarding these issues."

The bombshell story by renowned American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that revealed the US' culpability in the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline has attracted global attention. Hersh told the Global Times in an exclusive interview previously that "there's no question that the pipeline was blown up directly on the orders of President Biden."