Chinese foreign minister: China ‘not a party’ to Ukraine conflict

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi sees his country as "not a party" in the Ukraine war after Russia's invasion.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi sees his country as “not a party” in the Ukraine war after Russia’s invasion.

He said his government “does not want sanctions to affect China,” in a phone call with Spanish counterpart José Manuel Albares, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

Beijing rejects sanctions in principle and “China has the right to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” he said.

He called the Ukraine conflict “the product of the accumulation and intensification of European security contradictions over the years.”

Wang did not address US reports that Russia had asked China for military and economic help after the start of the war in Ukraine, which a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman had previously called “malicious” US disinformation.

The ministry gave little detail on what China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi had discussed with US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan for seven hours on Monday.

The two had “frank, in-depth and constructive” talks, including on strained relations between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan.

Yang was cited as saying the US government was not sticking to its commitment to refrain from supporting Taiwan’s independence.

He also demanded Washington acknowledge how sensitive the Taiwan issue is and not go further down a “very dangerous road.”

China regards the self-governing democratic island republic as part of the People’s Republic and has threatened to take it back by force if it formally declares independence. The US is committed to Taiwan’s defence capability and supplies it with arms.

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