During a phone call with his counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, Qin Gang expressed concern that the war with Russia could spin out of control.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang told his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing fears the war with Russia is spiraling out of control and called for talks on a political solution with Moscow.
Qin told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba that China wants to see the peace talks move forward in a rare phone conversation on Thursday, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said in a statement.
China “has always maintained an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue,” Qin told Kuleba, according to the statement.
The minister also said China “is committed to promoting peace and advancing negotiations and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks,” according to the statement.
Kuleba later tweeted that he and Qin “discussed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity” and that he “stressed” the importance of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s “peace formula” to end Russia’s war against Ukraine.
During my talk with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang today, we discussed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity. I stressed the importance of @ZelenskyyUato end the aggression and restore a just peace in Ukraine.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 16, 2023
by Zelensky 10 Point Formula for Peace includes, among other elements, the restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, on which there will be no “negotiations”, the withdrawal of all Russian troops, the cessation of all hostilities and the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes.
China’s rare engagement in war with Ukraine on Thursday follows Beijing’s recent engagement.12-point roadmap proposal for a “political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis”.
China has restored its letters of nobility as an independent mediator after hosting talks last week in which longtime antagonists Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore full diplomatic ties.
But Beijing’s newfound interest in seeing an end to the more than a year-long war in Ukraine has to contend with China’s declaration in 2022 of a “limitless” friendship with Russia. China also refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, saying that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected.
Beijing, however, condemned Western sanctions against Russia and accused NATO and the United States of provoking Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
At a press conference on March 7, Foreign Minister Qin insinuated that the United States was undermining peace efforts in Ukraine to prolong the conflict for its own benefit.
“There seems to be a invisible hand pushing for the prolongation and escalation of the conflict and using the Ukraine crisis to serve a certain geopolitical agenda,” he said.
The Foreign Ministry made no mention of Qin repeating such remarks to Kuleba or bringing up China’s peace roadmap during Thursday’s phone conversation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit Russia possibly as early as next week, although neither side has confirmed dates for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.