China has demanded that the United States “explain itself to the world” if the revelations in Seymour Hersh’s story about US intel being responsible for destroying the Nord Stream gas pipelines are true.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist published an article this week in which he asserted that the pipelines were destroyed by the US as part of a covert operation.
According to Hersh’s sources, the explosives were planted in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise and were detonated three months later with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy.
One source told Hersh that the plotters knew the covert operation was an “act of war,” with some in the CIA and State Department warning, “Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out.”
Now Beijing is demanding that the White House address the issue, seemingly unimpressed with the Biden administration’s rather weak response to merely label the story “false”.
Earlier today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning asserted that Washington would have to bear responsibility if the report is confirmed as accurate.
“If the conclusions of the investigation are true, then the US behavior is unacceptable,” the diplomat told reporters, adding that the US would need to “explain itself to the world community.”
The Kremlin also responded to the report by demanding a fresh international investigation into the attack, which was preceded by both Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland asserting that the pipelines would be taken out if Russia invaded Ukraine.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said Hersh’s article showed “the need for an open international investigation into this unprecedented attack on this critical infrastructure.”
“It’s a very important piece, which… must provoke the acceleration of the international probe. But we, on the contrary, witness attempts to silently wind down such international investigation,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is also calling for a full inquiry.
“The Pulitzer Prize winner’s suspicions must be investigated,” wrote co-chairman of the AfD parliamentary group, Tino Chrupalla.
“Has NATO’s leading power carried out an attack on our country’s vital critical infrastructure in European waters? Then one would have to question whether the alliance guarantees security in Europe or rather endangers it. The consequence would be the withdrawal of all U.S. troops.”