| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

China’s Xi calls for ‘maximum restraint’ in Ukraine

In his strongest statement on the conflict to date, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “maximum restraint” in Ukraine, saying China is “painted to see the flames of war reignited in Europe.”

According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Xi said during a virtual meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that the three countries should support peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

According to CCTV, Xi described the situation in Ukraine as “worrying” and said the priority should be to keep it from escalating or “spinning out of control.”

He also said France and Germany should make efforts to reduce negative impacts of the crisis, and expressed concern about the impact of sanctions on the stability of global finance, energy supplies, transportation and supply chains.

China, which has refused to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine or to call them an invasion, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to what it describes as illegal sanctions on Russia.

China’s friendship with Russia, strengthened last month when President Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on the same day that the countries declared a “no limits” strategic partnership, has become awkward for China as the war in Ukraine escalates.

Moscow describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to disarm its neighbour and unseat leaders it calls neo-Nazis. Ukraine and its Western allies call this a baseless pretext for an invasion to conquer a country of 44 million people.

  • Reuters