chinese premier li says ukraine situation disconcerting as he offers chinas help in ceasefire talks - Chinese Premier Li says Ukraine situation ‘disconcerting’ as he offers China’s help in ceasefire talks

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday the Ukraine situation was “disconcerting” and offered help in playing a “positive role” to support the ceasefire talks between the two countries.

Speaking at a news conference at the close of an annual parliamentary session, the leader, however, refused to criticise Russia.

“We support and encourage all efforts that are conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis,” he said.

“The pressing task now is to prevent tension from escalating or even getting out of control.”

Mr Li, who is responsible for overseeing the economy of the country, added: “China calls for exercising utmost restraint and preventing a massive humanitarian crisis.”

China, which has largely sided with Russia and have so far refused to refer to it as a war or invasion, is accused by Washington of aiding Russian disinformation efforts against Ukraine, including the development of biological weapons in the war-torn country.

The premier said that the sanctions imposed on Russia will hurt the economic recovery of the world still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, reported Nikkei Asia.

“It is in no one’s interest. China is ready to make its own constructive efforts in maintaining world peace and stability and promoting development and prosperity,” Mr Li said.

Repeating China’s assertion that it follows an “independent foreign policy of peace,” Mr Li said “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected.”

“The purposes and principles of the UN charter should be observed and the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously,” he said.

“On that basis, China makes its own assessment and will work with the international community to play a positive role for the early return of peace.”

Commenting on China’s ties with the US, Mr Li said that he hopes the two sides can properly manage differences, adding that the two countries should cooperate to tackle global challenges.

Additional reporting from the wire