On Friday the leaders of Russia and China, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping spoke on the phone about the current situation in Ukraine. The two versions of official news agencies follow. The Russian version said the two leaders enhanced practical bilateral cooperation and closely coordinate actions in support of each other.
From Beijing comments were that it is important to take seriously and respect the reasonable security concerns of all countries and reach a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation. China supports Russia in resolving the issue through negotiation with Ukraine.
Russian version of the phone call
Beijing “respects” the actions of the Russian government amid the “ongoing crisis situation” in Ukraine, China’s President Xi Jinping told President Vladimir Putin during a phone call on Friday, the Kremlin has said.
The Russian president has “thoroughly informed” the Chinese leader about the reasons that prompted Putin to launch a military operation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement, adding that Moscow was also ready to send a delegation to Minsk to start talks with Ukrainian officials.
The two leaders shared their assessments of the situation on the international arena and agreed to further “closely coordinate” their actions and support each other in the United Nations and on other international platforms, the statement has said. The two also slammed “illegitimate sanctions used by certain nations in their own selfish interests” by calling such actions “unacceptable.”
Putin and Xi have also agreed it was important to further enhance “practical bilateral cooperation.” The phone call came a day after Russia launched its operation in Ukraine, which Putin said sought to “demilitarize” and “denazify” Ukraine.
On Thursday, Beijing blamed the US for stirring up tensions that prompted Russia to launch its military operation and urged the international community to avoid “stoking panic” over the situation. China’s reaction drew criticism from Washington as the US President Joe Biden said that Beijing’s reputation would be “stained by association” for failing to denounce Russia’s actions.
China hit back on Friday by saying that it is the nations that meddle in other states’ affairs that would have their reputations stained. It also said that it understood Moscow’s “legitimate” security concerns.
Chinese version of the phone call
On the afternoon of 25 February 2022, President Xi Jinping spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone.
President Xi thanked President Putin once again for coming to China to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Winter Games and congratulated Russian athletes on winning the second largest number of medals. President Putin extended warm congratulations to all the Chinese people on the success of the Olympic Winter Games and the excellent performance of the Chinese sports delegation.
The two presidents exchanged views with a focus on the current situation in Ukraine.
President Putin set forth the historical context of the Ukrainian issue, Russia's special military operation in eastern Ukraine and its position. He noted that the United States and NATO have long turned a blind eye to Russia’s legitimate security concerns, and have repeatedly negated their promises to Russia. Their continued military deployment eastward has challenged Russia’s strategic red line. He also expressed Russia’s willingness to have high-level negotiation with Ukraine.
President Xi noted that the dramatic change of the situation in eastern Ukraine recently has attracted a high level of attention from the international community. China determines its position concerning the Ukrainian issue on its own merits. It is important to reject Cold War mentality, take seriously and respect the reasonable security concerns of all countries and reach a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism through negotiation.
China supports Russia in resolving the issue through negotiation with Ukraine. China has long held the basic position of respecting all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, and abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China is prepared to work with other members of the international community to promote common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and to resolutely safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law.
Beijing foreign ministry
Just in case there were doubts about Xi's words, the Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin pointed out that 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