China FM to EU’s Borrell: ‘Extreme sanctions will only cause mutual harm’

Beijing, Mar 30 (EFE).- China’s foreign minister has told the European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs that “extreme sanctions will only cause mutual harm,” according to a statement published late Tuesday night by the Chinese foreign ministry.

The video conference between the pair was held ahead of an EU-China summit scheduled for Apr. 1. on trade and geopolitical issues.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Wang Yi told Josep Borrell that China “stand(s) on the side of peace” and that “between unilateral sanctions and dialogue and negotiation, we stand on the side of dialogue,” while expressing confidence that “time will prove that China’s position is responsible and will stand the test of history,” referring to the war in Ukraine.

Wang emphasized that “the old way of Cold War mentality” and “confrontation” haven’t worked out in Europe and “the practice of choosing sides and dividing the world is even less desirable.”

“The extreme sanctions will only lead to mutual harm, make the situation more complicated and the contradiction more intensified,” Wang said, adding that “it is neither fair nor legal to allow countries and people that are not involved to pay for the conflict.”

China’s foreign minister reiterated that the country is “willing to work with all parties to accommodate the legitimate concerns of all parties and make efforts in the general direction of seeking an early solution to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and restoring peace to Europe as soon as possible.”

Borrell assured that the EU does not “seek to change Russia’s political system, does not want to see the situation escalate, and opposes any form of new Cold War” and confrontation, according to the statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

The EU called for a ceasefire, the opening of humanitarian corridors, the non-use of weapons of mass destruction and the prevention of the evasion of sanctions, it added.

Wang said that the EU and China are “two major forces in the process of world multi-polarization” and as such, they should “maintain regular strategic communication” and “jointly address various global challenges.”

Regarding relations between the two actors, Borrell said China and the EU “are important strategic forces in the world and the pillars of global economic recovery and growth,” the foreign ministry said.

According to the ministry, Borrell reiterated that the EU “adheres to the one-China policy” and that “all member states will not and should not deviate from this position.”

In the past year, some EU member countries such as Lithuania have strengthened ties with Taiwan, an island whose sovereignty China claims, which caused China to downgrade its diplomatic relations with the Baltic country.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, China has maintained an ambiguous position calling for the territorial integrity of all countries to be respected and has avoided using the word “invasion” to refer to the Russian offensive, while reiterating its opposition to sanctions against Moscow.

Recently, some European countries such as France called for China to expressly condemn the invasion of Ukraine and use its diplomatic weight to end the conflict. EFE


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