Chinese President Xi Jinping, and in his strongest statement yet on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, called for “maximum restraint” and offered to play a mediating role, saying that Beijing is willing to “work actively” with the international community for a peaceful solution.
During a virtual call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, Xi said the situation in Ukraine was “worrisome” and China was “deeply grieved by the outbreak of war again on the European continent,” according to a statement from China’s Foreign Ministry.
“China will stay in communication and coordination with France, Germany and the EU and, in light of the needs of the parties involved, work actively together with the international community,” the statement said, adding that all efforts “conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be supported.”
According to Reuters, Macron reminded Xi of the role that China must play as a member of the UN security council.
So far, China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions outright and last month abstained from a Security Council vote seeking to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and demand it withdraw its forces.
China has been criticised for siding with Russia, despite claiming that it holds a neutral position on the Ukraine crisis.
Also read | US intel says Russia may escalate despite Ukraine setbacks, brands Putin angry
China also referred to Western sanctions against Russia as illegal – and in the meeting Xi expressed concern over the impact sanctions may have on the stability of global finance, energy supplies, transportation and supply chains.