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China Keen to Avoid Sanctions Over ‘Russian War’: Wang Yi

‘China is not a party directly involved in the crisis and it doesn’t want to be affected by sanctions even more,’ its foreign minister said


China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. File photo: AFP.

 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with his Spanish counterpart on Monday and made his country’s position clear in regard to the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions.

An English transcript of Wang Yi’s phone conversation with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares Bueno was published on Tuesday by China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

It quoted Wang Yi as saying: “China is not a party directly involved in the crisis, and it doesn’t want to be affected by sanctions even more. China has the right to safeguard its legitimate and lawful rights and interests.”

The Ukraine crisis, he said, stemmed from “security tensions accumulated and intensified in Europe over the years.”

While encouraging Russia and Ukraine to reach a ceasefire and stop the war through peace talks, he said: “China also hopes that Europe and Russia can engage in equal-footed dialogue and negotiations to find reasonable solutions to each other’s security concerns and establish a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture.”

The Chinese minister reiterated that his country “opposes the use of sanctions to solve problems,” claiming they have no basis in international law and that “such moves will undermine international rules and harm people’s well-being in all countries.”

His remarks came on a day when Washington warned Beijing against helping Russia – during talks in Rome described as “intense” between US national security adviser Jake Sullivan and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, denied reports allegedly made by US officials that Russia had asked China for military equipment, such as drones, after invading Ukraine.

Beijing on Monday described those reports as “disinformation.”

 

• Jim Pollard with Reuters

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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