China has offered to mediate ceasefire negotiations between Ukraine and Russia amid its strongest comments yet over the conflict.
A statement from Beijing yesterday said: ‘Ukraine is willing to strengthen communications with China and looks forward to China playing a role in realizing a ceasefire.’
Chinese authorities added they are ‘extremely concerned about the harm to civilians’ amid the fighting.
This is coming comes after Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi shared a call with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, in which he called on the two countries to ‘find a way to resolve the issue through negotiations according to the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
Wang also reportedly said he ‘deeply regrets that conflict has broken out between Ukraine and Russia’, and is paying ‘extreme attention to the harm suffered by civilians’.
Kuleba meanwhile said Wang assured him ‘of China’s readiness to make every effort to end the war on Ukrainian soil through diplomacy, including as a permanent member of the UN Security Council’.
China’s stance against the conflict in Ukraine has been neutral since they have refused to outright condemn Russia’s actions and won’t describe the military operation as an invasion.