April 1 (UPI) — European Union officials pressed top Chinese leaders to help end Russia’s war on Ukraine during a virtual summit Friday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.
European Council President Charles Michel, speaking with reporters in Brussels, said, “We called on China to end the war in Ukraine. China cannot turn a blind eye to Russia’s violation of international law.”
Concerns about China’s alignment with Russia have mounted since the invasion of Ukraine began Feb. 24.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry statement on Friday’s virtual meeting with the EU said that China “finds it deeply regrettable that the situation in Ukraine has come to where it is today.”
“China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear-cut. China always stands on the side of peace and draws its conclusion independently based on the merits of each matter,” the Chinese government statement said.
“China calls for upholding international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations, acts in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and advocates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.”
China said it supports EU efforts toward a political settlement in Ukraine and has been encouraging peace talks.
China said it has sent supplies to European countries receiving refugees, providing multiple batches of emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
The Chinese government said the international community should continue efforts to create favorable conditions for peace talks rather than “add fuel to the fire and heighten tensions.”
China blamed the Ukraine crisis on regional security tensions in Europe that have built up over the years.
“A fundamental solution is to accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all relevant parties,” the Chinese government said.
According to the Washington Post, the EU said the Chinese side indicated less interest in discussing the war in Ukraine and wanted to concentrate on China-EU cooperation.
The United States has warned China against aiding Russia, and democratic countries have criticized Beijing for not imposing sanctions on Moscow over the attack.