China ‘deeply concerned’ about ‘intensifying’ Ukraine war

Qin Gang stresses the need for dialogue as China’s top diplomat heads to Moscow.

Beijing is “deeply concerned” about the year-old conflict in Ukraine, which appeared to be “intensifying and even getting out of control”, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday.

Beijing initiated a “no limits” partnership with Moscow shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February and has avoided using the word “invasion” or condemning Russian actions in the East European country.

The United States has warned of consequences if China provides military support to Russia, which Beijing said on Monday it was not doing.

“We urge certain countries to immediately stop fuelling the fire,” Qin said during a speech at the Lanting Forum on global security in Beijing, stressing that China would “work with the international community to promote dialogue and consultation, address the concerns of all parties and seek common security”.

Qin was speaking as top diplomat Wang Yi was expected in Moscow for possible talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where state media said the Russia-Ukraine war would be high on the agenda. While on a visit to Hungary on Monday, Wang called for a negotiated settlement to the conflict.

“We would like a political solution to provide a peaceful and sustainable framework to Europe,” Wang said, adding that the world was riven by disorder and wars and “peace-loving countries [should] bring the current hostilities to a halt as soon as possible”.

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang was speaking in Beijing as China released its Global Security Initiative [Thomas Peter/Reuters]

The forum in Beijing also saw the official release of the Global Security Initiative, President Xi Jinping’s flagship security framework.

The 12-page document stresses the need for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries to be respected, and for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter to be upheld. It also includes the concept of “indivisible security,” an idea endorsed by Russia too.

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