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Xi: Russia Visit Was Friendship, Peace 03/22 06:14


   BEIJING (AP) -- China on Wednesday said President Xi Jinping's 
just-concluded visit to Russia was a "journey of friendship, cooperation and 
peace," and again criticized Washington for providing military support to 

   The trip that ended Wednesday signaled no new progress in ending the bloody 
conflict between Russia and Ukraine while shoring up President Vladimir Putin's 
standing amid growing efforts to isolate him and his government internationally.

   Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reiterated China's claims 
that it remains neutral in the conflict and said it had "no selfish motives on 
the Ukraine issue, has not stood idly by ... or taken the opportunity to profit 

   "What China has done boils down to one word, that is, to promote peace 
talks," Wang said at a daily briefing.

   Wang also accused the U.S. of lacking impartiality and of "fanning the 
flames" of the conflict by providing defensive weapons to Ukraine to 
Washington's own benefit.

   The U.S., NATO and partner nations have openly supported Kyiv since the 
start of the conflict, and China is widely seen as providing economic backing 
for Putin's regime while avoiding being directly involved.

   "President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia is a journey of friendship, 
cooperation and peace, which has aroused positive responses in the 
international community," Wang said.

   China would "continue to play a constructive role in promoting a political 
settlement of the Ukrainian issue," Wang said, an apparent reference to a 
12-point peace proposal put forward by Beijing that calls for a ceasefire and 

   The document has already been dismissed by the West, largely because China 
-- which has said it has a "no-limits" relationship with Moscow -- is not seen 
as an impartial broker and the proposal says nothing about a Russian withdrawal 
from Ukrainian territory it has occupied by force.

   Xi's visit was heavily promoted by both China and Russia but was 
overshadowed by a visit to Kyiv by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, a 
close U.S. ally and a key Chinese rival in east Asia.

   Early Wednesday, Ukraine faced a new series of Russian drone attacks, which 
killed at least three people and damaged some infrastructure across the country.

   The U.S. and others have continued to express concerns that China may 
provide military equipment to supplement its purchases of Russian energy 
resources and provision of computer chips to keep the Russian economy afloat.

   The New York Times on Tuesday said Russia had purchased more than $12 
million in drones and drone parts from China in the year since the invasion 
began, citing official Russian customs data provided from a source it did not 

   The paper said it was difficult to tell whether the drones contain American 
technologies. It said the shipments included products from DJI, which is among 
the world's leading makers of commercial drones, as well as smaller companies, 
and were often channeled through a web of brokers and smaller export firms.

   In other comments on Ukraine, Wang said Russia and China agreed that the 
U.N. Charter must be observed and international law be respected. It said they 
opposed unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. and others to economically 
punish Putin and his financial backers.

   Wang said nothing about the arrest warrant issued for Putin by the 
International Criminal Court on charges of alleged involvement in abductions of 
thousands of children from Ukraine.

   In a joint statement signed in Moscow, Russia and China emphasized the need 
to "respect legitimate security concerns of all countries" to settle the 
conflict, echoing Moscow's argument that it sent in troops to prevent the U.S. 
and its NATO allies from turning the country into an anti-Russian bulwark.

   "The two sides pointed out that the solution to the Ukraine crisis must 
respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and prevent the 
formation of bloc confrontation and fanning flames," Wang said Wednesday in 

   "The two sides stressed that responsible dialogue is the best way to resolve 
the issue steadily," Wang said.

   "To this end, the international community should support relevant 
constructive efforts, and the two sides call for the cessation of all actions 
that could lead to a tense situation and prolonged war, so as to avoid further 
deterioration or even loss of control of the crisis," he said.

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