Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on February 25, 2022
Phoenix TV: White House spokeswoman Psaki said on February 24 that “This is really a moment for China, for any country, about what side of history they want to stand on here”, urging China to pick a side. Do you have any response to this?
China always decides its position and policy based on the merits of the matter. We stand on the side of peace and justice.
We always maintain that the Ukraine issue has a very complex historical context and all parties’ security concerns should be respected. All should completely discard the Cold War mentality, seek comprehensive resolution of Ukraine and other related issues through dialogue and negotiation, and eventually put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism.
For some time, China has actively promoted the political settlement process of the Ukraine issue. During a telephone conversation with French President Macron, President Xi Jinping stressed all relevant parties should adhere to the general direction of political settlement, make full use of multilateral platforms including the Normandy format, and seek a comprehensive resolution of the Ukraine issue through dialogue and consultation.
Following the abrupt deterioration of the situation in Ukraine, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke with the foreign ministers of Russia and the US by phone respectively, pointing out that any country’s legitimate security concerns should be respected and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld. He also called on all parties to exercise restraint, de-escalate the situation and resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation.
Going forward, China will continue to make its own effort to promote the political settlement of the Ukraine issue. Its practice stands in stark contrast to that of a certain country, who has created and shifted crisis to others, and reaped gains from it. I believe we will make a fair judgment as to which approach is more conducive to the security, stability and lasting peace in Europe.
At present, the door to peacefully resolving the Ukraine issue is not fully closed. We hope parties concerned will remain calm and rational, stay committed to the principles of the UN Charter and peacefully resolve relevant issues through negotiation. China will continue to promote peace talks in its own manner, and welcomes and encourages all efforts for advancing diplomatic settlement.
AFP: Does China consider Russia’s action an invasion now? And if not, then what does China think the nature of this conflict actually is?
Wang Wenbin: The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and upheld. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter should also be jointly upheld. This a principle China always follows and a basic norm governing international relations that all countries should adhere to. At the same time, we recognize that the Ukraine issue has a complex and special historical context and understand Russia’s legitimate concerns on security issues. China maintains that all should discard the Cold War mentality and eventually put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through dialogue and negotiation.
Bloomberg: Will China recognize the Donetsk and the Lugansk People’s Republics?
Wang Wenbin: The Ukraine issue has complex historical context and realistic factors. China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and remains unchanged. We hope relevant parties, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, are committed to resolving differences through negotiation, addressing the legitimate concerns of all parties and avoiding further escalation of the situation.