BEIJING (Reuters) – China is concerned about the “deteriorating” situation in Ukraine, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday called on all parties to show restraint and resolve differences through dialogue.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the deployment of troops to two dividing areas in eastern Ukraine, prompting fears that the West could trigger a war.
Russia denies any plans to attack Ukraine, but threatens unspecified “military-technical” action unless it receives comprehensive security guarantees, including a promise that its neighbor will never join NATO.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Wang, who is also the Chinese state councilor, had telephoned US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen to discuss the legitimate security concerns of any country.
“The situation in Ukraine is deteriorating,” Wang told Blingen. “China is once again calling on all parties to exercise restraint.”
In the call, Blinken underscored the need to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity among Russia.
U.S. State Department spokesman Nate Price said it was “aggressive.”
Earlier on Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine warned people not to move to uninhabited areas, but many countries stopped telling their own citizens to leave. [L1N2UX0EH]
“The Chinese embassy in Ukraine has issued a reminder to Chinese citizens and companies to strengthen security precautions,” said Wang Wenpin, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.
Wang said at a regular press conference that the embassy would ensure that the food needs of Chinese citizens in Ukraine were met in a timely manner, when asked by China when it would expel its citizens.
Wang told the conference that China was paying close attention to the situation in Ukraine, which attracted more reporters than usual.
Taiwan, North Korea
Wang told Blingen that the United States should not include Taiwan, which claims China as its own territory, in the US Indo-Pacific strategy.
This month, the United States pledged greater diplomatic and security resources to the Indo-Pacific region and pledged to work with allies inside and outside the region to maintain peace and stability in the strait that separates Taiwan from China.
Wang told Bling that the attempt to include Taiwan in the strategy of controlling China was sending all the “wrong signals”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
However, China is ready to manage its differences with the United States and strengthen bilateral relations, Wang added.
On Monday, China said it was holding Lockheed Martin Corp and Radeon Technologies Corp under sanctions for selling arms to Taiwan, announcing penalties to U.S. companies for at least a third time.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has said it will continue to urge the United States to sell island weapons “in the face of China’s military threats and intimidation.”
“US defensive weapons help protect Taiwan’s democracy and independence, as well as national security and ensure peace and stability in the Indo – Pacific region,” spokesman John O’Brien told reporters Tuesday.
Blinken and Wang also spoke about North Korea’s progress.
Wang said China calls for direct talks between the United States and North Korea and seeks to play a constructive role as always in resolving the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Martin Queen Pollard in Beijing; Ben Blanchard and Additional Reporting in Taipei; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Clarence Fernandez)
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