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War in Ukraine: ‘very concerned’ about conflict, China favors dialogue

The war in Ukraine is a delicate matter for Beijing. China has been strengthening its diplomatic and economic ties with Moscow for several years, and both countries have a common interest in acting as a counterweight to Washington. Officially neutral China is calling today to respect the sovereignty of states, including Ukraine, while calling on the international community to consider Moscow’s security concerns.

Days before the first anniversary of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accused China of considering arms shipments to Russia—accusations later denied by Beijing.

“General Escalation”

“It’s been almost a year since the crisis in Ukraine is experiencing a general escalation,” Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told a conference in Beijing on Tuesday. “China is very concerned about this conflict, which is escalating and even getting out of control,” he continued in front of several dozen foreign ambassadors and diplomats.

Beijing is also suspicious of arms supplies to Ukraine. “We ask the countries concerned to stop adding fuel to the fire and stop blaming China as soon as possible,” Qin Gang emphasizes, in particular, referring to Western calls made in Beijing to put pressure on Moscow. “We will continue to promote peace negotiations (…) and work with the international community to develop dialogue and consultations, resolve the problems of all parties and ensure common security,” the diplomat said.

taiwan as background

Qin Gang also dismisses any parallels between Ukraine and Taiwan, an island that the People’s Republic of China wanted to annex to the rest of its territory after the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. shouting “Today Ukraine, tomorrow Taiwan,” the minister insists, responding to concerns about a possible Chinese military invasion of the island with a population of 23 million people.

“Pressure and attempts to contain China from outside are intensifying” and “pose a serious threat to China’s sovereignty and security,” Qin Gang said. “China has always been committed to the path of peaceful development,” the minister said. He never initiated conflict or war, never invaded an inch of land from another country. »

Meeting with Putin

In the Ukraine case, Beijing indicated that it wanted to publicize a proposal to find a “political solution” to the war. According to the Russian TASS agency, the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi, is expected in Moscow this afternoon. This will be the last stage of a European tour, during which he has already visited France, Italy, Hungary and Germany.

The West is stepping up pressure on China, which has never publicly supported or criticized the Russian offensive but has repeatedly voiced its support for Moscow in the face of Western sanctions. “Giving lethal support to Russia to help its war of aggression in Ukraine would have real implications for our relationship with China,” notes Anthony Blinken.

Words that echo the statements of Kamala Harris, who is present in Munich this Saturday. The American Vice President also questioned the neutrality shown by China. The United States is “concerned by the fact that Beijing has deepened its relationship with Moscow since the start of the war,” she said. “Any move by China to provide deadly support for Russia will only reward aggression, continue killing, and further undermine the rules-based order,” the vice president continued.

The head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, in turn, yesterday assessed that a possible supply of weapons by China to Russia would be a “red line” for the European Union. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin has since denied the US accusations, accusing Washington of “spreading false information”. “It is the United States, not China, that constantly sends weapons to the battlefield,” he added yesterday.

Source: Le Parisien

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