China called Wednesday for a “ceasefire through dialogue” and for all countries’ “territorial integrity” to be respected following Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s address on Ukraine, in which he announced a partial military mobilisation.
“We call on the relevant parties to realise a ceasefire through dialogue and consultation, and find a solution that accommodates the legitimate security concerns of all parties as soon as possible,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular press briefing.
“We always maintain that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be abided by, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of crises should be supported.”
Putin announced the mobilisation earlier Wednesday and vowed to use “all available means” to protect Russian territory, after Moscow-held regions of Ukraine announced annexation referendums.
Beijing’s latest statement differs little from its previous announcements on Ukraine in which it also called for a ceasefire through dialogue.
Last week, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a routine briefing: “We call on parties concerned to achieve a ceasefire through dialogue and negotiation and find a way to accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties concerned as soon as possible.
“Also, we hope the international community will create the conditions and space for that.”
China has repeatedly stated that it supports the sovereignty of all countries in relation to Ukraine, but has refused to condemn Russia’s actions.
In March, its permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Jun, said China had “always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected”, while also nodding to the “legitimate security concerns” of all parties.
China and Russia have drawn closer in recent years as part of what they call a “no-limits” relationship that acts as a counterweight to the global dominance of the United States.
Last week Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in Uzbekistan for a regional summit and rallied Asian leaders behind a new “international order” challenging Western influence.
“China calls on relevant parties to properly resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation, and is willing to work with the international community to continue to play a constructive role in de-escalating the situation,” Wang added on Wednesday.