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China urges EU not to ‘tie the world’ to Ukraine conflict

The Chinese president warned that the global economic damage from the Ukraine crisis would take years to repair if the sanctions were to be maintained.

“Many fear that the current conflict will undermine decades of achievements in international economic cooperation. Recovery will take years, even decades, if the situation continues to deteriorate.” Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an online meeting with European Union (EU) leaders on the Ukraine crisis yesterday.

Xi called on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel to “appropriately handle” the Ukraine issue. China’s leaders fear that the West overreacts and “binds the world to the crisis”, forcing people of all countries to pay the price.

An ambulance is parked near a building damaged by fighting in Kharkov, Ukraine April 2.  Photo: AFP.

An ambulance near a building damaged by fighting in Kharkov, Ukraine, April 2. Photo: AFP.

“The more critical the situation is, the more sober and calm we all have to be. The world economic structure is formed from the long-term efforts of all countries. The parties need to cherish this achievement and not let the economic system be left alone. The world economy is affected,” Xi said.

The Chinese leader said that the global economy cannot be “politicized, turned into tools and weapons”. He warned that this direction would cause serious crises for the world in finance, trade, energy, science and technology, food and supply chains, and production.

In a statement after the talks, EU leaders said they had lobbied China not to interfere in sanctions against Russia. The EU and Beijing have agreed to work together towards ending the conflict in Ukraine, but there are still many disagreements.

Ms. Von der Leyen emphasized that the Ukraine crisis is not only limited to Europe but also a global problem. She said that China needs to show its role in international affairs, proactively approach peace advocacy and “if you don’t support it, don’t interfere with sanctions”.

Xi Jinping said China supports the EU in its efforts to solve the Ukraine problem through a political solution.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, China has kept a neutral response, calling on all sides to exercise restraint and resolve conflicts by peaceful means.

Beijing does not openly criticize Moscow and does not participate in a series of Western sanctions against Russia. This country abandoned abstention in three UN documents on the Ukraine war, including a draft in the Security Council and two resolutions in the General Assembly.

Trung Nhan (According to SCMP)

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