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China understands Russia's security concerns, FM says



China always respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and also understands Russia's reasonable security concerns, as a complicated and special history lies behind the Ukraine issue, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday.

Talking with Lavrov over the phone, Wang said China calls for a complete renunciation of any Cold War mentality, as well as a security system for Europe that is balanced, effective and sustainable and achieved through talks and negotiations.

Lavrov said Russia was forced to take necessary measures as the United States and NATO went back on their promises of not expanding the organization eastward, refused to implement the Minsk II agreement and violated Resolution 2202 of the United Nations Security Council.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday that Russia, an independent major country, decides and implements its diplomacy and strategies based on its own judgment and national interests.

She said that China-Russia ties are non-alliance, non-confrontation and do not target any third parties.

Hua made the remarks at a news conference after US State Department spokesman Ned Price said China should urge Russia to "back down" and "de-escalate" tensions with Ukraine, and added the growing China-Russia partnership is "concerning".

On the US suggestion that Moscow made the move because it had gained China's support, Hua said she believed the Russian side will be "very displeased to hear such a notion".

China-Russia ties are fundamentally and essentially different from the "small groups" the US has been pursuing, based along ideological lines, to create confrontation and separation, Hua said. "China is not interested in, and does not intend to imitate the 'enemy or friend' Cold War mentality or the practice of patching up so-called 'alliances' and 'small cliques'," she added.

Hua said the US is unqualified to tell China what to do about respecting state sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China has consistently and firmly safeguarded the UN Charter's tenets and principles, as well as the basic norms guiding international relations, Hua said.

However, in the 250 years since its foundation, the US has only refrained from waging military operations in other countries for less than 20 years, she said.

"Such a country surely has a different understanding of respecting state sovereignty and territorial integrity than we do," Hua said. "The international community knows this clearly."

When asked whether China has provided or plans to provide any weapons to Russia, Hua said China does not take the initiative to provide weapons to others facing the risk of conflict, "unlike when the US provided a large amount of military equipment to Ukraine".