China urges UK to stop making 'groundless accusations', says Chinese embassy in UK

BEIJING (Reuters) -A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom called on London to stop making groundless accusations against China, and stop adding fuel to the fire on the Ukraine issue, according to a statement on Friday.

On Wednesday, British Defence Minister Grant Shapps accused China of providing or preparing to provide Russia with lethal aid for use by Moscow in its war against Ukraine.

Shapps did not provide evidence to support his assertion. He told a conference in London that U.S. and British defence intelligence had evidence that "lethal aid is now, or will be, flowing from China to Russia and into Ukraine, I think it is a significant development".

The Chinese embassy spokesperson, answering a reporter's question, said the remarks "are completely out of nowhere".

China has strengthened trade and military ties with Russia in recent years as the United States and its allies imposed sanctions on both, but particularly Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

"We urge the UK to stop making groundless accusations against China, stop adding fuel to the fire on the Ukraine issue, seriously reflect on its role in international peace and security, and truly do something for world peace and justice," the spokesperson said.

"On the Ukraine issue, China has always adhered to an objective and fair position, actively promoted peace talks, and promoted a political settlement," the spokesperson commented. "With regard to the export of military products, China has always adopted a prudent and responsible attitude and has consistently controlled the export of dual-use items in accordance with laws and regulations."

(Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Sandra Maler and Gerry Doyle)