In a rare phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday, China’s foreign minister said Beijing was concerned about the year-long conflict with Russia and called for talks on a political solution with Moscow.
Qin Gang told Dmytro Kuleba that China “always maintains an objective and fair position on the Ukraine issue, is committed to promoting peace and promoting negotiations, and calls on the international community to create favorable conditions for negotiations on the Ukraine issue.” peace talks,” China’s foreign ministry said. in a statement. statement posted on its website.
In 2022, China said it had “unlimited” friendship with Russia and refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion while condemning Western sanctions and accusing NATO and the United States of inciting Russia. military action.
China and Ukraine have retained diplomatic ties but their top officials are believed to have had only sporadic contact. Beijing has also accused the West of “fanning the flames” by providing Ukraine with weaponry to fend off the Russian invasion.
A Chinese peace proposal for Ukraine issued in February urged a cease-fire and peace talks, drawing praise from Russia but dismissals from the West. US officials have repeatedly accused China of considering the provision of weapons to Russia for use in the war.
At a March 7 news conference, Qin insinuated America was undermining efforts for peace in Ukraine in order to extend 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.”
The Foreign Ministry made no mention of Qin repeating such remarks to Kuleba or of raising the peace proposal.
“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,” Qin was quoted as saying.
“China will continue to play a constructive role toward reaching a cease-fire, ending warfare, mitigating the crisis and restoring peace,” he said. Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit Russia, possibly as early as next week, although neither side has confirmed any exact dates.