After weeks of staying in the dark amid the current European crisis, China finally took a stand.
China is ready to “work actively” with countries around the globe to mediate between Eastern Ukraine and Russia. However, President Xi Jinping did not provide specifics on how this would happen and only reiterated his disapproval of the Western sanctions.
The affairs in Ukraine was “worrisome,” and Beijing was “deeply grieved by the outbreak of war again on the European continent,” said Xi, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry of China, in a video conference call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron.
“China will stay in communication and coordination with France, Germany, and the EU and, in light of the needs of the parties involved, work actively together with the international community,” the statement continued, further saying that all attempts “conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be supported.”
Scholz and Macron have announced plans to boost communication coordination with each other for peace negotiations that may begin soon.
Beijing and Moscow have a common interest in provoking the West. But their relationship has been thrown into question after recent events in Ukraine.
While China has not denounced Russia outright or implemented any sanctions on Moscow, it remains neutral amid Russia’s economic turmoil brought about by the international community’s pressure at Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Experts say that Beijing has a very slim margin for intervention and will likely fear the likelihood of secondary sanctions if it chooses to side with Russia.
China has continuously declined to call the attack on Ukraine a Russian invasion, and their officials have repeatedly cited NATO’s expansion towards Russia as one of many grounds for strife.
Xi stressed the necessity to promote peace negotiations and urged the two parties to “keep the talks going and bring about peace outcomes,” according to the statement.
President Xi of China once again criticized the United States for its ongoing trade war, this time during the conference call, cautioning they will “dampen the global economy that is already ravaged by the pandemic.”