HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesChina downplays ties with Russia at the Foreign Minister’s meet with Ukraine

China downplays ties with Russia at the Foreign Minister’s meet with Ukraine

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China, that shares decades old defence partnership with Ukraine, has sought to downplay its military links with Russia, close on the heels of a high level meeting with the USA.

At a meeting last weekend in Munich China’s foreign minister Wang Yi told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing does not sell lethal weapons to Russia for its war against Ukraine.

Wang told Kuleba that China ‘does not take any advantage of the situation and does not sell lethal weapons to conflict areas or parties to the conflict,’ according to a Chinese foreign ministry readout.

“’No matter how the international situation changes, China hopes that China-Ukraine relations will develop normally and continue to benefit the two peoples,” Wang told Kuleba, according to the ministry’s readout.

“Once again, I would like to thank Ukraine for helping the Chinese people evacuate safely under emergency conditions,” Wang told Kuleba. “The Chinese people will never forget that.”

The readout said Wang affirmed that China adheres to the political settlement of flashpoint issues and insisted on promoting peace talks.“We will continue to play a constructive role in bringing an early end to the war and re-establishing peace,” Wang told Kuleba. “Even if there is only a glimmer of hope for peace, China will not give up its efforts.”The meeting between the Chinese and Ukrainian Foreign Ministers happened close on the heels of a meeting between Wang and a senior US official in Bangkok. Sources told ET China prefers global stability notwithstanding its growing economic ties with Russia.

It is interesting to note that China is Ukraine’s biggest trading partner. Ukraine is also a key element in China’s BRI plans in Europe and Eurasia. China and Ukraine defence trade began with Kiev delivering the first ever aircraft carrier to Beijing in the late 1990s. China has also sourced fighter aircraft engines from Ukraine. Beijing has also sourced nuclear reactor parts from Ukraine.

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