Beijing : China is “not a party” to Russia’s war with Ukraine, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday after U.S. officials claimed Moscow had requested military equipment from Beijing. This remark comes as reports emerged that the US warned Beijing of serious action against China if Beijing helped Russia bypass Western sanctions.
“China is not a party to the crisis, still less wants to be affected by the sanctions, and it has the right to safeguard its legitimate and lawful rights and interests,” Wang reportedly told his Spanish counterpart, Jose Manuel Albares, over the phone, according to Xinhua, China’s state press agency.
Wang’s remarks come as China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi also spoke with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Rome on Monday.
During the phone call, Wang said China has been pushing for peace talks since the first day of the Ukraine crisis, and hopes that the fourth round of Russia-Ukraine peace talks can achieve progress.
“Some forces have been constantly smearing China’s objective and just position on the Ukraine issue and creating disinformation,” Wang said, noting that China has always made its judgment according to the “merits of the matter itself.”
Meanwhile, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed reports that Moscow is seeking help from Beijing, and said, “Russia has an independent potential to continue the operation” and therefore “no reason” to seek military assistance from anyone else.
On February 24, Russia began a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
Despite sharing strong ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin and criticizing the West over the sanctions against Russia, China’s President Xi Jinping has found himself in a tough position amid the Russia-Ukraine war.
Amid persisting Ukraine crisis, some countries have even called on China to play a leadership role to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.
Experts believe that China has found itself in a precarious position with its leaders attempting to maintain the growing ties with Moscow, while minimising any further fallout in the relationship with the Western countries.