Blinken huddles with Chinese counterpart on Ukraine, stressing deescalation

Associated Press / Richard Drew

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday told U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that China wants to see all sides involved in Ukrainian tensions remain calm and avoid escalating the situation. 

Blinken spoke on the phone with his Chinese counterpart, discussing the increased tensions in and around Ukraine.

“We call on all parties to stay calm and refrain from doing things that agitate tensions and hype up the crisis,” Wang told Blinken, China’s foreign ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Blinken expressed the need for deescalation tactics and warned about security and economic risks that can result from Russian aggression. 

“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 U.S. Department of State said in a statement.

Wang also said that one country’s security cannot be at the expense of another country’s, apparently referring to Russia’s objection to NATO expansion, according to the wire service. He noted that regional security cannot be guaranteed by strengthening or expanding military blocs. 

Wang also suggested returning to a new Minsk Agreement — a set of pacts signed in 2014 and 2015 that ended a separatist war by Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine, according to Reuters.

“To resolve the Ukrainian issue, we still need to return to the new Minsk Agreement — the starting point,” he said. 

“The new Minsk agreement, which was approved by the Security Council, is a fundamental political document recognised by all parties and should be effectively implemented,” he continued. “As long as efforts are made in line with the direction and spirit of the agreement, China will support them.”

Wang also warned that the U.S. “continues to make mistakes in its words and deeds on China, causing new shocks to the relationship.”

Russia and China have strengthened ties in recent months as the tensions between the U.S. and China continue to grow on issues including human rights and Taiwan defense.

“The top priority at the moment is that the U.S. should stop interfering with the Beijing Winter Olympics, stop playing with fire on the Taiwan issue, and stop creating various anti-China cliques,” Wang said, according to Reuters.

Tags Antony Blinken China-US relations Russia-Ukraine conflict secretary of State
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