Thu. May 26th, 2022

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the West to end the Ukraine crisis through negotiation.

(aljazeera.com))

During a phone call Friday afternoon with Putin, Xi said that it was necessary to “abandon the Cold War mentality” and called for the countries to “form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiations,” according to a readout of the call broadcast on CCTV and carried by news agency Xinhua.

“China’s basic position on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and abiding by the purposes and principles of the charter of the United Nations is consistent,” Xi told Putin, according to the reports.

Putin argued that the United States and NATO have “long ignored Russia’s reasonable security concerns” and have “continuously pushed forward military deployments to the East.”

The Russian president added that he is willing to have high-level dialogue with Ukraine, according to the readout.

The call came as Russia and China have been pursuing closer ties, with Putin making a rare trip abroad to meet with Xi ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The two leaders had a lengthy meeting and issued a joint statement declaring “no limits” to their cooperation and calling for a halt to NATO expansion.

China also lifted all its wheat-impost sanctions on Russia on Thursday, extending a financial lifeline amid a wave of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.

Beijing has avoided taking sides on the Ukraine crisis and has refused to call Russia’s actions an invasion, instead shifting blame to the United States for heightening tensions and sparking panic.

“The U.S. has been increasing tensions and hyping up war for some time,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a press briefing on Thursday.

“Those who follow the U.S.’ lead in fanning up flames and then shifting the blame onto others are truly irresponsible,” she said. “As the culprit, the person who started the fire should think about how to put it out as soon as possible.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press briefing on Wednesday that China and Russia were seeking to create a “profoundly illiberal” world order together.

“It is an order that is in many ways destructive rather than additive,” he said.

Price added that every country “has an obligation to use any influence it has” to urge Russia to back down and de-escalate.

“You will have to ask [China] whether they have used their own considerable influence with the Russian Federation to that end,” he said.

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