China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang has called for peace talks on the war in Ukraine to be promptly resumed, as he blamed an “invisible hand” for the protraction and escalation of the year-old conflict.
“The process of peace talks should begin as soon as possible, and the legitimate security concerns of all parties should be respected,” Mr Qin said, speaking on the sidelines of this year’s session of the National People’s Congress.
According to Mr Qin, the war in Ukraine, which began with a Russian invasion on February 24 last year, is “an eruption of the problems built up in a security governance of Europe.”
“It has a complex history and complex reasons. Efforts for peace talks have been repeatedly undermined,” Mr Qin continued. “There seems to be an invisible hand, pushing for the protraction and escalation of the conflict and using the Ukraine crisis to serve certain geopolitical agenda.”
He added, “The crisis in Ukraine has come to a critical juncture. Either hostilities stop and peace is restored, and the process of political settlement begins, or more fuel is added to the flames and the crisis further expands and spirals out of control.”
China recently presented a so-called position paper about its stance on the war, but it was largely met with disappointment and scepticism.
Experts said the paper did not propose any new initiatives for a peace settlement.
China has not yet condemned Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The foreign minister said China did not provide weapons to Russia amid the conflict, adding that Beijing did not create nor was party to the crisis.
“Why on earth the blame, sanctions and threats against China? This is absolutely unacceptable,” he said, responding to information cited by Washington last month suggesting that Beijing could provide “lethal support” to Russia – a claim Beijing had already rejected – and warnings from the U.S. and Europe to China not to send weapons to Russia.
Mr Qin also praised China-Russia relations as “a model of new international relations.”
Some countries looked at the relationship through Cold War lenses, Mr Qin said.
However, the relations are not an alliance and are not directed confrontationally against third parties.
He said, “The more turbulent the world is, the more steady Russian-Chinese relations should move forward.”