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China concern at worsening Ukraine

China is concerned about the “worsening” situation in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Wang Yi says, repeating his call for all parties to show restraint and resolve differences through dialogue.

The legitimate security concerns of any country should be respected, Wang, who is also a Chinese state councillor, told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on a phone call, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement.

Accelerating a crisis the West fears could spark a war, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the deployment of troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine after recognising them as independent.

Russia denies any plan to attack Ukraine but has threatened unspecified “military-technical” action unless it receives sweeping security guarantees including a promise that its neighbour will never join NATO.

“The situation in Ukraine is worsening,” Wang told Blinken. “China once again calls on all parties to exercise restraint.”

China will continue to stay in touch with all parties, Wang said.

On the call, Blinken underscored the need to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity amid Russia’s “aggression”, said Ned Price, a spokesperson at the US State Department.

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