BEIJING: The Chinese foreign minister spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart by phone on Thursday, expressing Beijing’s concern over the spiraling out of control of the year-long grinding conflict with Russia and urging talks on a political solution with Moscow.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba that China “has always upheld an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue, has committed itself to promoting peace and advancing negotiations, and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks,” according to a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
China declared a “no-limits” friendship with Russia in 2022, refusing to condemn Moscow’s invasion while also criticizing Western sanctions and blaming NATO and the United States for prodding Russia into military action.
There are still diplomatic ties between China and Ukraine, but it appears that top officials from both countries rarely communicate with one another.
China has said that Western countries are “fanning the flames” by arming Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s invasion.
China issued a peace proposal for Ukraine in February, calling for an end to hostilities and negotiations, which was met with praise from Russia but scorn from the West. The United States has repeatedly claimed that China is contemplating selling weapons to Russia during the conflict.
On March 7, at a news conference, Qin implied that the United States was undermining peace efforts in Ukraine to prolong the conflict for its own benefit, saying, “There seems to be an invisible hand pushing for the protraction and escalation of the conflict and using the Ukraine crisis to serve a certain geopolitical agenda.”
Qin is said to have repeated these comments to Kuleba, but the Foreign Ministry made no mention of this or of Qin bringing up the peace proposal.
Qin was quoted as saying, “We hope that all parties will remain calm, rational, and restrained, resume peace talks as soon as possible, and push for a return to the track of political settlement.
He pledged that China would “continue to play a constructive role” in bringing about a peaceful resolution.
Xi Jinping, President of China, is expected to travel to Russia sometime soon, possibly as soon as next week.