New war in Ukraine: Germany rejects proposed embargo on Russian oil imports

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China has defended its “eternal friendship” with Russia and has criticized the US for trying to establish an “Indo-Pacific version of NATO” and defying international calls to condemn Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, on Monday reiterated a “clear message to the world that China and Russia stand united against attempts to revive Cold War thinking.”

“No matter how precarious and challenging the international situation, China and Russia will maintain their strategic focus and steadily advance our comprehensive strategic partnership coordination for a new era,” he said.

The comments from China’s top diplomats came just days after Ukraine said Beijing had reassured Kyiv it will help end the war and refocused on Beijing’s potential role in pressuring Russia to pull out.

Since the Russian invasion began, China has abstained on two UN votes, including a Security Council resolution condemning the invasion and a call for Russia to withdraw its troops. Beijing has also criticized international sanctions imposed to punish Putin

Wang, speaking during the National People’s Congress, China’s annual meeting of its stamp parliament in Beijing, reiterated Beijing’s support for “dialogue” and “negotiation” but did not elaborate on the specific actions China had taken.

He added that China’s Red Cross will provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine and said Beijing is organizing the evacuation of its nationals.

Wang said the US would go to great lengths to engage in zero-sum competition with China and dismissed claims that the US would return to multilateralism under President Joe Biden.

“The ultimate goal of the US Indo-Pacific strategy is to establish an Indo-Pacific version of NATO,” he said, adding that China has “every right” to do whatever is necessary to defend its own interests.

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