Beijing has “always stood on the side of peace and on the side of the U.N. Charter” when it comes to “the Ukraine issue,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken in a call overnight, according to Beijing’s readout of the discussion.
China “stands on the side of the international community in persuading peace and promoting talks. It will continue to play a constructive role in its own way to defuse the crisis,” the readout added.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today [Thursday] with [People’s Republic of China] State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi,” Washington’s readout confirms.
Blinken “raised concerns about Russia’s war against Ukraine and the threats it poses to global security and economic stability,” the U.S. statement reads.
“It is critically important to maintain open channels of communication” between China and the U.S., Blinken later added on Twitter.
Russia’s fully fledged invasion of Ukraine last February is becoming a sensitive point in Sino-Russian relations.
After initially stating it supported Moscow’s “sovereignty and security” last June, China President Xi Jinping recently warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin not to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine during an exchange with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, then on a state visit to China.
Xi also asked Germany and Europe to “play an important part in calling for peace and facilitating negotiations.”
In September, Putin himself acknowledged that Beijing had expressed “questions” and “concerns” over the war in Ukraine, following his meeting with Xi during a multilateral summit in Uzbekistan.