In a rare phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday, the Chinese foreign minister said Beijing was concerned that the longstanding conflict with Russia was getting out of hand and urged seeking a political solution with Moscow.
Qin Gang told Dmytro Kuleba that China “has always upheld an objective and fair position in the Ukrainian case, is committed to promoting peace and encouraging negotiations, and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks.” the Chinese foreign ministry said on its website.
In 2022, China declared that it had “limitless” friendship with Russia and has refused to condemn the invasion, while it has condemned Western sanctions and accused NATO and the United States of provoking Russia to take action. military.
China and Ukraine maintain diplomatic relations, but their officials are believed to be in only sporadic contact.
Beijing has also accused the West of “fed the flames” by sending weapons to Ukraine. A Chinese peace proposal in February calling for a ceasefire and start talks drew praise from Moscow but was rejected by the West. The United States has accused China of considering sending weapons to Russia for war.
At a press conference on March 7, Qin suggested that Washington was undermining Ukraine’s peace efforts and seeking to escalate the conflict to its own advantage, saying that “there seems to be an invisible hand driving the prolongation and escalation of the conflict and using the Ukraine crisis for a certain geopolitical purpose”.
The Foreign Ministry did not say whether Qin reiterated those remarks to Kuleba or the peace proposal.
According to the ministry, Qin expressed the hope that “all parties will show calm, rationality and restraint, resume peace talks as soon as possible, and push for a return to the path of political agreement.”
“China will continue to play a constructive role in achieving a ceasefire, ending the war, mitigating the crisis and restoring peace,” he added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Russia, possibly as soon as next week, although neither party has confirmed the exact date.