State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets the press

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Reuters: Russia's military action in Ukraine has expanded to non-military targets. Will China do more to help resolve the conflict?

Wang Yi: On the Ukraine issue, China has adopted an objective and impartial attitude. We independently assess the situation and make our position clear on the basis of the merits of the issue.

As a Chinese proverb puts it, it takes more than one cold day to freeze three feet of ice. The situation in Ukraine has become what it is today for a variety of complex reasons. What is needed to solve complex issues is a cool head and a rational mind, not adding fuel to the fire which only intensifies the situation. China believes that to resolve the current crisis, we must uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and respect and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. We must adhere to the principle of indivisible security and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of the parties involved. We must settle disputes by peaceful means through dialogue and negotiation. And we must keep in mind the long-term peace and stability of the region and put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture.

As things stand, the international community must make continuous efforts on two priorities.

One priority is to facilitate dialogue for peace. China has made some efforts in this regard and had close communications with the relevant parties. On the second day of the conflict, President Xi Jinping spoke to President Vladimir Putin on the phone and expressed China's desire to see Russia and Ukraine hold peace talks as early as possible. President Putin responded positively, and Russia and Ukraine have since had two rounds of talks. We hope that the upcoming third round will make further progress. China believes that the more tense the situation, the more important that the talks continue. The wider the disagreement, the greater the need to sit down and have negotiation. China is prepared to continue playing a constructive role to facilitate dialogue for peace and work alongside the international community when needed to carry out necessary mediation.

The other priority is to prevent a massive humanitarian crisis. To this end, China wishes to propose a six-point initiative:

First, make sure that humanitarian operations abide by the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and avoid politicizing humanitarian issues;

Second, give full attention to the displaced persons in and from Ukraine, and provide them with proper shelter;

Third, ensure the protection of civilians, and prevent secondary humanitarian disasters in Ukraine;

Fourth, provide for safe and smooth humanitarian aid activities, including providing rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access;

Fifth, provide for the safety of foreign nationals in Ukraine, allow them safe departure and help them return to their home countries; and

Sixth, support the UN's coordinating role in channeling humanitarian aid and the work of the UN Crisis Coordinator for Ukraine.

China will continue its efforts to stem the humanitarian crisis. The Red Cross Society of China will provide Ukraine with a tranche of emergency humanitarian supplies as soon as possible.

Phoenix Television: The international community is concerned about the growing risk of division and confrontation and the potential for a new Cold War. What is your view?

Wang Yi: The world is indeed far from being tranquil. Profound changes unseen in a century are unfolding before our eyes. Some major country, trying to hold on to its hegemony, has resurrected Cold War mentality and stoked bloc confrontation. This has fueled instability and division, and added trouble to a world already facing so many challenges.

What should be done? China firmly believes that the right way forward lies in greater solidarity and cooperation under the banner of multilateralism and joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind. As President Xi Jinping observes, "Amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats, but rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges. Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm."

First and foremost, we must preserve peace. Peace is the premise and foundation for development of all kinds. Countries need to follow the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, reject the notion of exclusive or absolute security, and stay committed to ceasing conflicts through negotiation, resolving disputes through dialogue, and increasing mutual trust through cooperation, to jointly build a world of enduring peace.

Second, we must enhance solidarity. Diversity is what makes our world an exciting place. Differences should not become a cause for confrontation. Countries should champion true multilateralism, advocate the common values of humanity, oppose hegemony and power politics, and oppose bloc politics. We must safeguard the UN-centered international system and uphold the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes of the UN Charter, as we work to make the global governance system more fair and equitable.

Third, we must uphold openness. Economic globalization is the trend of the times and, like it or not, it is here to stay and not to be stopped by geopolitical competition. We must say no to all forms of protectionism and isolationism, and firmly uphold a free, fair and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system. We should tear down small yards with high fences and build open markets instead.

Fourth, we must strengthen cooperation. Faced with challenges of a global nature, no country can stay aloof or unaffected. We must pull together in these trying times, enhance communication and coordination on COVID-19, terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and other global issues, build maximum consensus, and pursue convergence of interests wherever possible.

In a world of instability and transformation, China always serves as an anchor for stability and a force for good, and always stands on the right side of history. We will continue to keep a global perspective, honor our responsibilities, and hold high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation, to promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. China will work with all progressive forces in the world for development and together for a shared future.

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