The top diplomats of China and Canada discussed the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Canadian counterpart Melanie Joly exchanged views on the Ukraine issue in a phone call on Tuesday night, said a statement released from Beijing on Wednesday.
Referring to President Xi Jinping’s “comprehensive and authoritative elaboration on China’s position” on the Russia-Ukraine war, Wang told Joly: “China calls on all parties to think calmly and rationally, create opportunities for peace and open up prospects for talks.”
The Russia-Ukraine war, which started on Feb. 24, has drawn international outrage, with the European Union, US and UK, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 1,480 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,195 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.
More than 4.24 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.
Beijing, a close ally of Moscow, has restricted itself from condemning Russia over the Ukraine war. However, it has pressed for dialogue between the two sides and finding a political situation without compromising anyone’s security.
“At present, the talks are facing setbacks and difficulties, but as long as the talks continue, there will be the possibility of a cease-fire and the hope of peace,” Wang said.
He said China is following an “objective and impartial position on the Ukraine issue and will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.”
A statement by the Canadian Foreign Ministry said Joly spoke about the devastating human cost of the war in Ukraine.
She stressed that all countries “should denounce Putin’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which is in clear and direct violation of the UN Charter.”
“Canada and the world are closely looking at China’s actions and next steps,” Joly said.