China is deeply saddened by the outbreak of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and “extremely concerned” about the damage caused to civilians, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba and called on Kyiv and Moscow to resolve the raging crisis through negotiations.
The two ministers spoke on the phone on Tuesday for the first time since violence erupted in Ukraine following an attack by Russia.
Wang said the situation in Ukraine has changed rapidly and that China deplores the outbreak of conflict between Ukraine and Russia and is “extremely concerned” about the harm caused to civilians, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported. .
In expressing deep concern about the harm to civilians, Wang was careful, however, not to blame Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation against Ukraine and instead said, according to the press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that China is deeply saddened to see the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and very concerned about the harm caused to civilians.
China is a close ally of Russia and is walking the right path in expressing concern but not condemning Moscow’s military offensive.
On Tuesday, outlining China’s position, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a press conference in Moscow that Moscow’s “legitimate security demands” should be taken seriously and appropriately processed for a political settlement to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.
Refusing to criticize Russia’s military action, which has entered a decisive phase with thousands of Russian troops massed on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, Wang Wenbin called for a political settlement that addresses the legitimate concerns of both parties in matters of security, achieves common security in Europe and promotes lasting peace and stability in Europe.
The Cold War mentality should be completely abandoned. The legitimate security concerns of all countries must be respected. Given NATO’s five consecutive rounds of eastward expansion, Russia’s legitimate security demands should be taken seriously and handled properly, Wang Wenbin said.
China is also evacuating more than 6,000 of its students and nationals from Ukraine as the Russian offensive intensifies.
In phone talks with Kuleba, the spokesperson said China’s basic position on the Ukraine issue is open, transparent and consistent, and noted that Beijing always upholds respect for sovereignty and integrity. territory of all countries.
Regarding the current crisis, China calls on Ukraine and Russia to find a solution to the problem through negotiations, and supports all constructive international efforts leading to a political settlement, he said.
China always believes that one country’s security cannot come at the expense of others’ security, and that a region’s security cannot be achieved by expanding military blocs, he said.
As the fighting continues to spread, the top priority is to de-escalate the situation as much as possible to prevent the conflict from escalating or even spiraling out of control, in particular to avoid injury to civilians as well as a crisis. humanitarian aid, and to ensure security and rapid access to humanitarian aid, he said.
Regarding China’s stance on ensuring the safety of Chinese nationals in Ukraine, Wang urged Ukraine to shoulder corresponding international responsibilities.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the safety of Chinese nationals in Ukraine and cares about their safety at all times, Wang noted, adding that all Chinese nationals in Ukraine are emissaries of China-Ukrainian friendship and friends of the Ukrainian people.
The process of evacuation of overseas Chinese and Ukrainian students is ongoing, he said, expressing his gratitude to the Ukrainian side for the support, cooperation and help from the government and society. Ukrainians.
China appreciates Ukraine’s launch of special evacuation trains for foreign nationals, which is in line with the international humanitarian spirit, Wang said.
Wang said he hopes the Ukrainian side will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals in Ukraine and continue to guarantee and facilitate their evacuation.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s press release, Kuleba said it was an important duty of Ukraine to ensure the safety of foreign nationals and that Ukraine paid great attention to China’s concerns. and helped students and Chinese nationals to evacuate smoothly.
Ukraine will continue to ensure the safe evacuation of foreign nationals in a responsible manner, Kuleba added.
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