China backs Russia in strongest display yet of support over Ukraine
RUSSIA AND UKRAIN CONFLICT | Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called for restraint in the Ukraine crisis while also asserting that the U.S. should be more mindful of Russia’s security concerns.
Wang made the comments during a telephone call late Wednesday—Thursday in Beijing—with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. His remarks represent China’s strongest public statement of support yet for Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.
Beijing’s statement following the conversation quoted Wang as telling Blinken that “Russia’s reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously and resolved.”
Russia has reportedly placed an estimated 100,000 troops along its borders with Ukraine in recent months, causing concern about a possible attack. The Kremlin has demanded that NATO deny membership to Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries, but NATO and the U.S. have rejected that stipulation.
The Biden administration has also urged U.S. citizens to leave Ukraine as tensions have escalated in recent weeks between the Eastern European country and Russia.
While the specter of conflict becomes greater, Wang urged all concerned countries not to act irrationally during his talk with Blinken.
“We call on all parties to remain calm and refrain from doing things that agitate tension and hype up the crisis,” Wang said in the statement, according to Reuters.
Blinken, meanwhile, reportedly called for Russia to soften its threatening stance.
“Secretary Blinken underscored the global security and economic risks posed by further Russian aggression against Ukraine and conveyed that de-escalation and diplomacy are the responsible way forward,” the State Department said in a statement posted online after the phone call.