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China says relations with Russia 'rock-solid,' willing to mediate over Ukraine

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said Monday that the relationship between Beijing and Moscow is "rock-solid" and declared that his country is willing to act as a mediator in negotiations to resolve the fighting in Ukraine. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/7d264047e9ffdf27541d7342d97f26a0/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said Monday that the relationship between Beijing and Moscow is "rock-solid" and declared that his country is willing to act as a mediator in negotiations to resolve the fighting in Ukraine. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

March 7 (UPI) -- Beijing's top diplomat said Monday that China and Russia are "each other's most important strategic partners" and promised that his country is willing to step in as a mediator to resolve the war in Ukraine.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi called the Russia partnership "one of the most critical bilateral relations in the world" and said it's "not subject to interference and provocation by third parties."

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"The friendship between the two peoples is rock-solid and bilateral cooperation has broad prospects," Wang added Monday at a press briefing in Beijing on the sidelines of China's major annual parliamentary session.

Beijing and Moscow have been steadily pursuing closer ties in recent years. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the two signed a joint statement declaring "no limits" to their cooperation.

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China has so far refused to condemn Russia for its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and has not joined other nations and alliances in ordering international sanctions against Moscow.

Beijing has, however, tried to avoid aligning itself too closely with Moscow over the brutal and unprovoked attack, and has called for upholding the principle of national sovereignty.

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On Monday, Wang said that the situation in Ukraine developed for "complicated reasons" and called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

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"We must accommodate the legitimate security concerns of the parties involved," he said.

China is willing to play a "constructive role" in facilitating talks and would "work with the international community to carry out necessary mediation when needed," Wang said.

The diplomat added that China's Red Cross would "provide a batch of emergency humanitarian aid to Ukraine as soon as possible."

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Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have already had two rounds of peace talks, but have not yet made much progress in stopping the fighting.

Scenes from the Russian war on Ukraine

European Union leaders attend a summit at the Chateau de Versailles near Paris on March 11, 2022. Photo by the European Union/ UPI | License Photo

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