Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state, discussed
the ongoing Ukraine tension with Chinese foreign minister
Wang Yi, with the latter telling Blinken that the situation was “deteriorating”
and it needed to be deescalated through dialogue and negotiations.

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The phone conversation between Wang and Blinken took
place hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to
enter eastern Ukraine.

“The situation in Ukraine is deteriorating. China once
again calls on all parties to exercise restraint, appreciate the importance of
implementing the principle of indivisible security, and de-escalate the
situation and resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation,” Wang was
quoted as saying in a Chinese foreign ministry readout.

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Wang also said the ongoing crisis in Ukraine had “much
to do with the long delay in the effective implementation of the Minsk II

The Chinese minister was referring to the 2015
agreement that was signed among Russia, Ukraine, the Organisation for Security
and Cooperation in Europe and pro-Russia separatist groups.

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He said security concerns of any country should be
respected and purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be upheld. “China
will continue to engage all parties according to the merits of the matter
itself,” Wang told Blinken.

According to the US state department readout, Blinken
told Wang about “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”. “The secretary underscored
the need to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the US
readout said.

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Earlier on Tuesday, the Chinese embassy in Ukraine
urged its nationals not to venture into unstable areas but did not ask its
citizens to leave the country as many other nations have advised their own

“The Chinese embassy in Ukraine has issued a reminder
to Chinese citizens and enterprises to strengthen security precautions,” Wang
Wenbin, a foreign ministry spokesperson said.

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The embassy will ensure that the dietary needs of
Chinese citizens in Ukraine are met in a timely way, Wang said in response to a
query about when China would pull out its citizens.

Ukraine demanded Russia cancel the recognition, and at
its request, the United Nations Security Council convened an emergency meeting
late on Monday.