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China, Ukraine Ministers Hold Talks as Japan Admits Refugees

The call, which Beijing said was made at Ukraine’s request, was the first reported high-level conversation between the countries since March 1

Russian invasion of Ukraine
A woman with a child evacuate from a residential building damaged by shelling in Kyiv, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues. Some foreign investors fear China might also be hit with sanctions if it is seen to support Russia's invasion. Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine, via Reuters.


China’s foreign minister spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart in a phone call this week, with Beijing again calling on talks to end the conflict with Russia.

The call, which Beijing said was made at Ukraine’s request, was the first reported high-level conversation between the countries since March 1.

On that day Ukraine’s Dmytro Kuleba asked Beijing to use its ties with Moscow to stop Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said at the time.

“Wars end eventually,” Wang Yi said, according to China’s foreign ministry. “The key is how to reflect on the pain, to maintain lasting security in Europe and establish a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism.”

Kuleba tweeted: “Grateful to my Chinese counterpart for solidarity with civilian victims.”

“We both share the conviction that ending the war against Ukraine serves common interests of peace, global food security and international trade,” he said.

China, which has grown closer to Moscow in recent years while it has also had cordial diplomatic ties and strong trade links with Ukraine, has refused to condemn Russia’s attack on the country or to call its actions an invasion.

“China stands ready to play a constructive role in this regard in an objective position,” Wang said.

The call came as India condemned the killings of civilians in Bucha, a town near Kyiv, and called for an independent investigation. New Delhi had earlier declined to explicitly criticise the invasion of Ukraine by its long-time partner Russia.

A Ukrainian human rights ombudswoman said on Tuesday that between 150 and 300 bodies may be in a mass grave by a church in Bucha, where Ukraine accuses Russian troops of killing civilians.

Separately, the Japanese government flew 20 Ukrainian refugees into Tokyo on Tuesday in an unusually warm welcome from a country that has long been reluctant to accept foreigners.

The 20, ranging in age from 6 to 66, are not the first Ukrainians to arrive since Russia invaded their country on February 24 but they were the first to come on a special government plane on a trip arranged by Japan’s foreign minister.

“The government of Japan is committed to provide the maximum support to these 20 Ukrainians to help them live with a sense of peace in Japan,” the minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi, said in Poland shortly before he and the refugees set off for Japan.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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