China says US is 'playing up' Russia threat to Ukraine

US, Ukraine still on high alert after Putin pulls back Russian troops from border

Fox News correspondent Trey Yingst provides the latest from Kyiv, Ukraine.

China has accused the United States of “playing up” the crisis on Ukraine’s border after Moscow claimed to have pulled back some of its 150,000 troops amassed in the region. 

“Such persistent hyping up and disinformation by some Western countries will create turbulence and uncertainty to the world full of challenges and intensify distress and division,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters on Wednesday. 

“We hope relevant parties will stop such disinformation campaigns and do more to benefit peace, mutual trust and cooperation,” he added. 

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    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin attends a news conference in Beijing, China December 14, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter ( )

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    In this photo taken from video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, Russian army tanks are loaded onto railway platforms to move back to their permanent base after drills in Russia. Russia says it is returning more troops and weapons to bases, but NATO says it sess no sign of a drawdown as fears that Moscow could invade Ukraine soon persist. Russia has massed about 150,000 troops east, north and south of Ukraine. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP) ( )

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    Map depicting Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, the Donbas region held by pro-Russian forces, and nearby countries. Ian Jopson, Fox Digital (Fox News)

Wang also highlighted China and Russia’s “long term good neighbourliness and mutually beneficial cooperative relationship.” 

Russia amassed nearly 150,000 troops along its southwest border and deployed troops into allied Belarus. Russia continues to claim that it has no intention of invading neighboring Ukraine, but Western intelligence remains concerned it could launch an attack in the immediate future. 

On Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video showing a trainload of armored vehicles moving across a bridge away from Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A day earlier, the ministry reported the start of a pullback of troops following military exercises near Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg quickly contradicted Moscow’s claims and said he has seen no proof of any withdrawal efforts.

“We have not seen any withdrawal of Russian forces. That contradicts the message of real diplomatic efforts,” Stoltenberg told reporters.  “They have increased the number of troops and more troops are on their way. So far, there is no de-escalation.”

“We are closely monitoring and following what they’re doing,” Stoltenberg said. “They have always moved forces back and forth. So just that we see movement of forces…doesn’t confirm a real withdrawal.”

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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