China warns of ‘critical juncture’ in Ukraine conflict
The conflict in Ukraine will spin of control if a peace process does not start soon, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has said.
The fighting between Russia and Ukraine has reached a “critical juncture,” Qin stated during his annual press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
“There will either be cessation of hostilities, restoration of peace and a move towards political settlement, or fuel will be added to the fire, the crisis will expand, and the situation will get out of control,” he warned.
The diplomat pointed out that now is the time for “calmness, sanity and dialogue,” insisting that talks “should start as soon as possible.”
“The legitimate security concerns of all parties should be respected” during the negotiations, as this is the only way to achieve long-term peace and stability in Europe, he said.
Qin also expressed regret that previous attempts to launch a peace process to end the conflict had been “repeatedly undermined.”
“There is an ‘invisible hand’ pushing the conflict towards escalation and trying to use the Ukrainian crisis to serve a certain geopolitical agenda,” he said.
Moscow has repeatedly said the conflict in Ukraine is a “proxy war” waged against Russia by the US and its NATO allies, which provide Kiev with weapons, funds and intelligence.
Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that Moscow was ready to consider peace proposals “that are made out of sincere desire to find a political solution” to the crisis. However, Lavrov pointed out that there haven’t been any such serious peace offers coming from either Kiev or its Western backers since last March. On the contrary, “Ukraine is being persuaded to continue the fighting,” he said.
During his press conference, Qin also spoke about the significance of relations between Russia and China. Over the past year, Beijing resisted Western pressure to condemn and sanction Moscow, while consistently calling for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“The more turbulent the world is, the more steadily the Chinese-Russian relations should move forward,” the Chinese FM said.
Cooperation between Beijing and Moscow will “provide impetus for multipolarization of the world and democracy in international relations; global strategic balance and stability will be assured through it,” he stated.