China’s foreign minister calls for new negotiations and respect for ‘territorial integrity.’

China’s overseas minister calls for brand spanking new negotiations and respect for ‘territorial integrity.’

China’s overseas minister, Wang Yi, known as on Saturday for contemporary negotiations to keep away from main battle over Ukraine, arguing {that a} set of moribund cease-fire agreements from 2014-15 may kind the premise for a deal.

Talking by video link to the Munich Security Conference, Mr. Wang recommended that it was nonetheless potential to search out center floor that revered Ukrainian sovereignty whereas accommodating the safety issues of Russia, an more and more shut geopolitical associate of China.

The template for an answer to the risky tensions, Mr. Wang mentioned, lay in cease-fire blueprints known as the Minsk accords, which Ukraine accepted in 2014 and 2015 in an unsuccessful bid to defuse battle in its east. Russia-backed separatists attacked and grabbed territory there after Ukrainian protesters deposed a pro-Russian president in 2014. The accords are notoriously ambiguous, and Russia and Ukraine interpret them very otherwise.

“Now we have to return to the preliminary answer of the Minsk settlement, as a result of that settlement was reached by all events associated this situation,” Mr. Wang mentioned, talking via an English-language translator.

“Why can’t all events sit down collectively to have in-depth discussions and to give you the street map and timetable for the implementation of this settlement?” he mentioned. “I consider that that is what all events have to give attention to, as a substitute of hyping up tensions, stoking panic.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France has additionally recommended that the accords may supply the premise for an answer to the standoff over Ukraine.

Earlier this month, China’s chief, Xi Jinping, hosted President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, and the 2 declared that their international locations’ friendship had “no limits.” Mr. Xi additionally backed Russia over one in every of its safety calls for: that NATO cease increasing east, nearer to Russia’s borders.

In his newest remarks, Mr. Wang additionally questioned any enlargement of NATO, calling the safety bloc a relic of the Chilly Battle. “The affordable issues of Russia must also be revered and heeded,” he mentioned.

However Mr. Wang denied that when it got here to Ukraine, China had deserted its longstanding dedication to the significance of nationwide sovereignty.

“The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of any nation needs to be revered and safeguarded,” he mentioned. “Ukraine is not any exception.”

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