China has refused to call the Russian move into Ukraine an invasion, though the country has urged Chinese people there to stay at home or to display the Chinese flag if they need to drive anywhere, Reuters reported. The agency also reported China urging all sides to exercise restraint. 

Hua Chunying, spokesperson at China’s foreign ministry said “China is closely monitoring the latest situation. We call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent the situation from getting out of control”, as per Reuters. 

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Hua also took a swipe at the characterization of Russian actions and said, “This is perhaps a difference between China and you Westerners. We won’t go rushing to a conclusion. Regarding the definition of an invasion, I think we should go back to how to view the current situation in Ukraine. The Ukrainian issue has other very complicated historical background that has continued to today. It may not be what everyone wants to see”, Reuters reports state. 

Russia has sent troops into Ukraine labelling it as a special military operation, but what NATO and Ukraine have viewed as an invasion. Accordingly, Ukraine has severed diplomatic ties with Russia, and the Vladimir Putin government is staring down a very long list of sanctions from the NATO members. 

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China had earlier shown support to Russia as well, stating that the country’s security concerns were legitimate and should be recognized by NATO. Russia demanded that NATO should reduce its military presence in eastern Europe. 

President Putin met Chinese head of state Xi Jinping during the Beijing Winter Olympics, where the two heads of state promised to have a united front. This move comes mainly due to the western nations’ portrayal of Putin and Jinping’s rule as authoritarian. 

Notably, China has a foreign policy that urges non-interference, but Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin have grown close, putting China in an awkward position, Reuters reported.