'Invisible hand' prolonging Ukraine war for geopolitical gains: China
China's Foreign Minister says the conflict in Ukraine is being exploited by behind-the-scene powers to advance their own interests.
China's Foreign Minister said on Tuesday that an "invisible hand" is exploiting the war in Ukraine and prolonging the conflict to achieve certain geopolitical goals.
"Conflict, sanctions, and pressure will not solve the problem...The process of peace talks should begin as soon as possible, and the legitimate security concerns of all parties should be respected," said Qin Gang who was attending Beijing's annual parliament meeting.
The top diplomat also stressed that China supplied neither Russia nor Ukraine with weapons.
"(China) is not a party to the crisis and has not provided weapons to either side of the conflict. So on what basis is this talk of blame, sanctions and threats against China? This is absolutely unacceptable," he added.
Qing's comment comes amid increasing US warnings of consequences if China provides lethal aid to Moscow or material support or assistance to help Russia evade sanctions.
Read more: China to never accept US pressure on ties with Russia: Beijing
Earlier on Sunday, during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said her office found no evidence from the US that China has been supplying weapons to Russia.
When asked if China will be sanctioned if such a case is confirmed, von der Leyen said it would be addressed "only when it becomes reality."
Read more: US is not yet ready for the ‘Great Power’ conflict era: WSJ
On February 24, China issued a 12-point position paper on Ukraine that highlighted all the steps required to reach a "political settlement".
These include respecting the sovereignty of all countries, abandoning the Cold War mentality, ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, resolving the humanitarian crisis, protecting civilians and POWs, keeping nuclear power plants safe, reducing strategic risks, facilitating grain exports, stopping unilateral sanctions, keeping industrial and supply chains stable, and promoting post-conflict reconstruction.
However, because the plan did not specify that Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine, the West accused China of an attempt to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty at the expense of Russia.