In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, China’s President Xi Jinping said he supported resolving the Ukraine crisis through dialogue.
In a readout of the call on state broadcaster CCTV, Xi stated that the “situation in eastern Ukraine has changed rapidly… (and) China supports Russia and Ukraine in resolving the issue through negotiation.”After weeks of diplomatic efforts failed to deter Putin from launching the military operation, Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing airstrikes and sending troops deep into the country.
Beijing has taken a cautious diplomatic approach to the crisis, refusing to label it an “invasion” or condemn Russia’s actions.
During the call with Putin, Xi stated that it was critical to “abandon the Cold War mentality, draw attention to and reverence the reasonable security problems of all countries, and negotiate a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security mechanism.”
According to the Chinese media readout, Putin explained why Russia launched the “special military operation,” and told Xi that NATO and the US had “long ignored Russia’s plausible security concerns.”
On the call, he also told Xi that Russia was prepared to hold “high-level” talks with Ukraine.
As the crisis has worsened, China has been forced to strike a balance between its close ties to Russia and major economic interests in Europe.
And Moscow’s approach contrasts sharply with China’s long-stated foreign policy position of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
According to the CCTV readout, Xi stated that China is “willing to work with all parties in the global community to advocate a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept, and solidly defend the international system with the United Nations at its core.”