Ukraine war

China warns countries to stop 'fueling the fire' in Ukraine following Biden's visit to Kiev

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang attends the "Lanting Forum" to deliver a keynote in Beijing, China February 20, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

China is "deeply concerned" that the Ukraine conflict could spin out of control, China's foreign minister Qin Gang stated on Tuesday, urging certain nations to cease "feeding the fire."

Beijing has refrained from criticising Russia's invasion of Ukraine despite signing a "no limits" cooperation with Moscow last year. The United States has warned of repercussions if China gives Russia military help, which Beijing denies doing.

In a speech, Qin spoke about the Ukraine war and looked to be addressing the United States when he stated, "We urge certain countries to stop adding fuel to the fire immediately."

He remarked, "We stand firmly against any form of hegemony and foreign interference in China's internal affairs."

China published a paper on the Global Security Initiative (GSI) on Tuesday, which is President Xi Jinping's signature security program that seeks to defend the notion of "indivisible security," a concept supported by Russia.

At a layover in Hungary en route to Moscow, China's top diplomat Wang Yi urged for a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine conflict on Monday.

On the same day, U.S. President Joseph Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv to show solidarity, offering $500 million in military help to Ukraine and more penalties against Russian elites to be announced in full this week.

Beijing has refrained from denouncing Moscow's action against Ukraine or labelling it an "invasion," mirroring the Kremlin's description of the conflict as a "special military operation" meant to preserve Russia's security.

On the 24th anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, Xi is slated to deliver a "peace speech" this week.

'Leathel weapons'

On Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned that the United States is extremely concerned that China is contemplating providing "lethal assistance" to Russia, which he told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang "would have grave repercussions for our relationship."

Blinken said in an interview with NBC News that the U.S. is considering giving various lethal support, including weapons, and that Washington would soon provide additional information.

Josep Borrell, the senior foreign affairs official for the European Union, warned against China delivering weapons to Russia on Monday, calling it a "red line" and echoing the sentiments of other European foreign ministers attending a meeting in Brussels.

Any Chinese arms shipments to Russia would risk escalating the Ukraine conflict into a showdown between Russia and China on one side and Ukraine and the US-led Nato military alliance on the other.

Beijing has often accused the United States of worsening the crisis by arming Ukraine. During a discussion with Blinken on the margins of the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, Wang stated that the United States should seek a political solution to the problem rather than add gasoline to the fire.

Xi has supported Vladimir Putin and resisted Western efforts to isolate Moscow. Since the invasion of Ukraine, trade between China and Russia has skyrocketed, and Russia has sold Asian nations, particularly China, increasing quantities of oil.

Publish : 2023-02-21 11:22:00

Give Your Comments