Chinese envoy to EU says China doesn't want ‘to choose between its friends’ Russia and Ukraine

24 December 2022, 03:14 PM
Chinese Ambassador to the EU Fu Kong (Photo:Fu Cong/Twitter)

Chinese Ambassador to the EU Fu Kong (Photo:Fu Cong/Twitter)

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has put Beijing 'in a very difficult position' as it doesn't want to choose between its friends, Russia and Ukraine, Chinese Ambassador to the EU Fu Cong said in an interview with South China Morning Post on Dec. 23.

 The diplomat referred to the war initiated by Russia as a “so-called special operation” or “Ukrainian crisis” that has hurt China's relations with the EU, which he wants to “depoliticise.”

"We see ourselves as a collateral damage, if you like, of that crisis,” Fu said.

“Both Russia and Ukraine are good friends (of us), so we do not want to choose between friends. That is the starting point of our position," he said.

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He said the day after the Russian full-scale invasion had begun, a phone conversation was held between Chinese dictator Xi Jinping and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, and during that conversation, Xi "clearly advocated trying to seek a peaceful solution."

The ambassador also denied China had provided any military support to Moscow.

“Actually, our position has been quite balanced, you have to admit, and we are ready to engage in any peace efforts,” he said, while also repeating Russian propaganda narratives about the United States “profiting from this crisis.”

China hasn't expressed open criticism of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, though in November Chinese dictator Xi condemned Russia's possible use of nuclear weapons.

At the beginning of December, Xi said that Europe and all Eurasian countries want to see an end to the war via peace talks. He said “it is necessary to avoid an escalation and expansion of the crisis.”

Meanwhile, U.S. newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported that Xi had ordered his government to establish even closer economic ties with Moscow.

The outlet's sources said China wants to boost Russian oil imports, expand energy cooperation, and increase investments in Russian infrastructure.

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