China reacts to mobilization in Russia
Beijing has responded to the announcement of partial military mobilization in Russia by calling for a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict in Ukraine.
China’s position that the parties involved in the security crisis should exercise restraint and seek a mutually acceptable solution has been consistent and clear, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told journalists during a daily briefing on Wednesday, as quoted by news agencies.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the mobilization of some military reserve members on Wednesday. In a video address to the nation, he said the measure was necessary due to the situation in Ukraine, where Russian troops are facing “the entire Western military machine.”
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said his department was seeking to enroll into active service some 300,000 reservists, prioritizing those with combat experience and certain professions required to sustain the Ukraine campaign.
The troops will receive additional training before being fielded, the minister said. He promised that the reservists would be sent to man defensive positions along the 1,000km-long front line.
Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbass republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked.
Beijing has condemned the Russian military operation, but acknowledged the merits of its justifications. The Chinese government believes the expansion of NATO towards Russian borders served as a major cause of the hostilities. China has refused to join the US and its allies in imposing sanctions on Russia, calling the approach illegal and detrimental to peace.