UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the “crisis” in Ukraine, its foreign minister Wang Yi told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, adding that the pressing priority was to facilitate peace talks.
“The fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture,” Wang said in his address.
“We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and protect the legitimate rights and the interests of developing countries.”
Russia’s strategic partner China has been firmly on the fence, criticizing Western sanctions against Russia but stopping short of endorsing or assisting in the military campaign.
In a surprise acknowledgement, Russian President Vladimir Putin last week said China’s leader Xi Jinping had concerns about Ukraine.
Wang also said Beijing would continue to work for “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan, and that it should combat “independence separatist activities” while taking forceful steps to oppose any external interference.
“Only by resolutely forestalling separatist activities can we forge a true foundation for peaceful reunification. Only when China is completely reunified, can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
Wang met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken for 90 minutes in New York on Friday. After the meeting, China accused the United States of sending “very wrong, dangerous signals” on Taiwan after Blinken told Wang that the maintenance of peace and stability of Taiwan was vitally important.
Tensions over Taiwan have soared after a visit there in August by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi – which was followed by large-scale Chinese military drills – as well as a pledge by U.S. President Joe Biden to defend the democratically governed island.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Daphne Psaledakis and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bill Berkrot)