China this week said it would “never attack Ukraine” and praised the Ukrainian people for their resilience in the war this week.
The Chinese ambassador to Ukraine made the remarks earlier this week as Beijing has tried to stay neutral on Russia’s invasion, Bloomberg reported.
China is a “friendly country for the Ukrainian people” and would “never attack Ukraine,” Ambassador Fan Xianrong told Maksym Kozytskyi, the governor of Lviv, Ukraine, on Monday.
“I, as an ambassador, can say with responsibility that China will always be a force for good for Ukraine in the economic and in the political sense,” Fan said. “We will always respect your state, will develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We will respect the path chosen by Ukrainians because this is the sovereign right of every nation.”
China’s partnership with Russia has been unclear during the war, though Russia has reportedly asked China for military aid during the fighting. It is also unclear if China had any prior knowledge of the invasion, which the country has denied.
China has called for both sides to show restraint and have urged peace talks.
As Xianrong’s comments came surprisingly to some, China supported the ambassador’s words on Thursday.
“China surely supports these remarks by our ambassador in Ukraine. China supports all efforts that are conducive to easing the situation and for a political settlement,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, according to Bloomberg.