Fact Check: China's Defense Ministry Did NOT Warn Of Military Intervention If US Or NATO Attacked Russia

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: China's Defense Ministry Did NOT Warn Of Military Intervention If US Or NATO Attacked Russia Never Said

Did China's Defense Ministry warn it would "intervene militarily" if the United States or NATO attacked Russia? No, that's not true: No credible evidence supports this claim. Additionally, there are no official statements or credible reports from the Chinese government or its Defense Ministry to support this assertion. Nor is there any report of such a statement in China Daily, owned by the Chinese Communist Party and one of the largest newspapers in China.

The claim appeared in a post and video (archived here) on X, formerly Twitter, by Casey Wright 🥖🎪 on March 19, 2024. The post's caption said:

💥💥🇨🇳 WWIII 🇺🇸 💥 💥

'China is ready to intervene militarily anywhere if the US or NATO decide to attack Russia'

-China's Ministry of Defense:

NATO must either accept a loss in their proxy war against Russia or commit to a war against China and Russia ..

Zugzwang for NATO

It's over


This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:


(Source: X screenshot taken on Wed Jun 5 17:13:39 2024 UTC)

The video

The 91-second video, featuring Chinese President Xi Jinping, says nothing about the United States, Russia or NATO. Translated to English by the Daily Mail in 2018, Xi said:

Here I give my orders: the military at all levels should strengthen military training and war preparedness, unswervingly place military training at a strategic position and effectively implement military training as its central task.

Google searches

Lead Stories did searches using keywords on Google News, visible here (archived here), which found no credible documents or reporting as of June 5, 2024, to corroborate the claim that China warned it was ready to intervene militarily if the United States or NATO attacked Russia.

A separate Google Advanced Search (archived here) of the English edition of China's Ministry of National Defense website for the phrase "China is ready to intervene militarily anywhere if the US or NATO decide to attack Russia" returned no results. A screenshot of the search is included below:


(Source: Google screenshot taken on Wed Jun 5 21:17:44 2024 UTC)

A search of the website of the global edition of China Daily found no instance of that quote, whether attributed to the Chinese Ministry of Defense or others.

Through a reverse image search with Google Lens, Lead Stories found that the video is actually from more than six years earlier. The video with Xi appeared on the Daily Mail and Guardian websites on January 4, 2018.

While U.K. diplomats have said China is providing lethal support to Russia, U.S. officials questioned that account in May, according to a report by the Institute for the Study of War.

The transcript of a May 31, 2024, news conference in Prague, the Czech Republic, shows U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reiterated that point, saying China is not providing weapons to Russia, but is in other ways assisting Russia's defense industrial base.

Read more

At the time this was written, Africa Check and The France 24 Observers had reviewed the same claim. Additionally, the claim had previously been reviewed by AFP in 2022.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about the war in Ukraine can be found here.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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