Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “peace talks” and “responsible dialogue” on Ukraine on Tuesday in a joint statement with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, but also criticized sanctions, blamed NATO expansion for the conflict and did not offer to withdraw the invading forces.
Released on the second day of Xi’s state visit to Moscow, which has so far underscored his close friendship with Putin, Xi’s joint statement with the Russian leader shows Beijing’s widespread adoption of Russia narratives.
“Russia reiterates its efforts to resume peace talks as soon as possible, which is praised by the Chinese side,” said the statement, carried by China’s Xinhua news agency. “Russia welcomes China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the Ukraine crisis through political and diplomatic means.”
Going back to the Kremlin line that NATO expansion sparked the conflict, rather than Russian aggression against a democratic neighbor whose independence it resents, Xi and Putin proclaimed: “Both sides oppose any country or national bloc that puts endangering the reasonable security interests of other nations in the pursuit of military, political or other superiority”.
The resolution of the “crisis” in Ukraine, according to the two countries, which would not call it a war, “should respect the reasonable security concerns of all countries and avoid the formation of a bloc confrontation.”
Putin and Xi called on “the international community to support constructive efforts” toward “responsible dialogue.”
“Both parties ask to stop any movement that could cause tension and continue the war, to prevent the crisis from deteriorating, if it does not get out of control,” the statement added.
Unsurprisingly, Beijing made no mention in the statement of providing military support to Moscow, despite recent evidence, including the POLITICO report, showing moves by Chinese companies to send weapons to Russia.
Xi also did not reiterate his opposition to the use of nuclear threats in this latest statement, contrary to a call he made while meeting European leaders including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
There is also no mention of a ceasefire, let alone a complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territories as demanded by kyiv and the West.
The statement on Ukraine was signed after Xi and Putin held talks on a wide range of issues in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
“Xi noted that… China-Russia relations have maintained strong, solid and steady growth momentum. The two countries have enjoyed deepening political mutual trust, convergence of interests and understanding between peoples, and have advanced cooperation in trade, investment and energy, and exchanges between peoples and at the subnational level,” he said. he Chinese Foreign Ministry said. “The Sino-Russian cooperation is covering more areas, building greater consensus and delivering earlier harvests. Comprehensive progress is being made on further cooperation.”