Chinese foreign minister calls on Russia, and Ukraine not to let war spill over
UNITED NATIONS (New York), Sept 25, 2022 (AFP): China on Saturday evening (Sept 24) at the United Nations urged Russia and Ukraine not to let the effects of their war “spill over” and called for a diplomatic resolution.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also sounded a fresh warning on Taiwan amid tensions in the Taiwan Strait, saying Beijing would take “forceful steps” to prevent any outside support for the island’s independence.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, China’s top diplomat stopped short of robustly supporting the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, nominally an ally of Beijing.
“We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” Wang said.
He called for “fair and pragmatic” peace talks to resolve all global issues.
“China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. The pressing priority is to facilitate talks for peace,” Wang said.
“The fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture.”
During his visit to the United Nations, Wang met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in their first talks since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Chinese “concerns” about Ukraine during a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping.
Before the war, Putin had visited Beijing and the two nations declared a tight alliance.
But US officials have been heartened by what they see as China’s lack of concrete backing for the war and say that Beijing has declined requests to send military equipment, forcing Russia to rely on North Korea and Iran as its supplies dwindle.
China’s reaction to Russia is being closely watched for clues on its approach to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its territory.
Wang met Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and warned about efforts to back Taiwan, amid a push in the US Congress to supply direct military assistance to the island.
Addressing the General Assembly, where only Beijing and not Taipei had a seat, Wang took a firm line in insisting on “reunification” with Taiwan.
“We must combat Taiwan independence separatist activities with the firmest resolve and take the most forceful steps to oppose external interference,” Wang said.
“Any move to obstruct China’s reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history,” he added.
Beijing says Taiwan was historically part of China and the mainland’s defeated nationalists fled to Taipei after losing the civil war in 1949.
But Taiwan administers itself and many Taiwanese do not see a connection with China, although the Taipei leadership has stopped short of formally declaring independence.
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