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Wang Yi Holds Virtual Meeting with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

On March 10, 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a virtual meeting with Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio at the latter's request. The two sides mainly exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.

Wang Yi said, the Ukraine crisis is closely related to European security and stability.

China fully understands the deep concern of European countries including Italy, and is deeply grieved over the evolution of the situation in Ukraine up to now. A few days ago, President Xi Jinping held a virtual meeting with the leaders of France and Germany, clearly pointing out that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be fully observed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be supported. These four points are China's most authoritative position on the Ukraine issue. China will uphold the above fundamental position, strengthen communication and coordination with all parties, and continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace talks.

Wang Yi said, Russia and Ukraine have conducted three rounds of talks. Although there are still obvious differences between the two sides' positions, negotiation is the only feasible way to achieve a ceasefire and stop the war. The Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers will meet today, and the two sides will contact and discuss at a higher level, which is a positive step towards the goal of peace. The international community should jointly encourage Russia and Ukraine to stay committed to the general direction of the negotiations and make unremitting efforts towards the goal of peace. China is not a party directly involved, but as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible major country, we will continue to make efforts to ease the situation and seek peace in our own way. China has put forward a six-point initiative on preventing a large-scale humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, which has won response and support from an increasing number of countries. We are willing to consult with all parties to push the Security Council to reach consensus on avoiding a humanitarian crisis.

Wang Yi pointed out, facts have proved that sanctions only create new problems instead of solving problems. Escalating sanctions will have a serious impact on global finance, energy, food, transportation, supply chain and other aspects, and undermine the global economic recovery and people's wellbeing in all countries amid the pandemic. The more complicated the situation is, the more necessary it is to calmly consider whether the actions taken are conducive to promoting peace talks and striving for peace.

Wang Yi stressed, behind the Ukraine crisis is the European security issue. European countries should conduct in-depth and comprehensive discussions with Russia in accordance with the principle of indivisible security and on the basis of the agreements reached so far, so as to form a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture and achieve long-term peace and stability in Europe.

Di Maio said, Italy attaches importance to communication and coordination with China on major international issues, and expects China to play its due role in international peace. Italy believes that the most pressing task is to immediately stop hostilities in Ukraine, and the international community should make concerted efforts to push the situation back to the track of diplomatic settlement and avoid a humanitarian crisis. Italy pays close attention to the six-point humanitarian initiative put forward by China, and is willing to strengthen communication with China and make joint efforts to promote peace talks. The European security mechanism calls for equal-footed consultations among various parties, so as to achieve win-win results.

Wang Yi congratulated Italy on its outstanding achievements in the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022, saying that China will support Italy in hosting a successful Olympic Winter Games 2026. China is willing to actively implement the consensus between the two heads of state on advancing the development of China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership, so as to promote more friendly exchanges and cooperation. China has always positively viewed and developed China-European Union (EU) relations. China hopes that the EU will uphold strategic autonomy and develop more independent and objective perceptions and policies concerning China.

Di Maio congratulated China on the successful conclusion of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and appreciated the promotion of the Olympic spirit in China. He said, Italy is ready to work with China to constantly push forward Italy-China relations. Italy expects the EU-China leaders' meeting to achieve positive results, so as to promote the further development of the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

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