China on Monday said it is willing to play a “constructive role” to facilitate dialogue for peace and work alongside the international community “when needed to carry out necessary mediation”, said Foreign Minister Wang Yi when asked about Russia's war on Ukraine.
“Calm and rational mind are needed rather than pouring oil on the fire,” Wang said, calling the situation “complicated” which requires more dialogue.
Addressing the Foreign Ministry’s annual news conference in Beijing, Wang said: “China believes that to resolve the current crisis we must uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and respect and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.”
“We must adhere to the principle of individual security and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of the parties involved. We must settle disputes by peaceful means through dialogue and negotiation,” he added.
Calling for dialogue and cooperation between China and Europe, Wang said: “The basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit will add more stabilizing factors to an unstable world.”
He said Beijing will send humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but attempts to “politicize humanitarian assistance” should be avoided.
Russia's war on Ukraine has been met with outrage from the international community, with the European Union, UK, and US, among others, imposing a range of economic sanctions on Moscow.
At least 364 civilians have been killed and 759 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war against the Eastern European country on Feb. 24, according to UN figures, with the real toll feared to be higher.
More than 1.5 million people have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
Beijing calls US Indo-Pacific strategy ‘sinister’
Wang criticized the US strategy for the wider Asia-Pacific.
“The real goal of the US Indo-Pacific strategy is to establish an Indo-Pacific version of NATO,” Wang said, calling the Indo-Pacific strategy as “sinister, return of bloc politics and disrupter of peace.”
“The US has ‘54321’ strategy,” he said, pointing to Five Eyes, Quad, AUKUS, and bilateral relationships in the region. “They are doomed to fail.”
On China-US relations, Wang repeated the two countries need to “replace the ‘competitive-collaborative-adversarial’ trichotomy with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation."
The Chinese foreign minister stressed there is no comparison between the "Ukraine crisis" and Taiwan issue.
“Those talking of Ukraine's sovereignty undermine China’s sovereignty,” he said, calling Taiwan as an "inalienable part" of China.
“These are double standards,” he said. “Some forces in the US have condoned separatists in Taiwan to undermine rejuvenation of China.”
As the world focuses on the Russia-Ukraine war, observers are also closely watching China's moves regarding Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province.
Taipei, however, has insisted on its independence since 1949 and maintains diplomatic relations with at least 14 countries.
"Taiwan’s future and hope lies in the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and reunification with the mainland," Wang said.
On relations with India, Wang said the border tensions “should not affect bigger picture.”
“Some forces always seek to stoke tensions between India and China (but) only by staying independent can both firmly grasp our destiny,” he said.
Calling for aiding Afghanistan during its “critical moments” when it is facing humanitarian crisis, Wang called out Washington for “leaving Afghanistan irresponsibly.”
He called for “unconditionally returning Afghan assets and lifting unilateral sanctions.”