Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday expressed his readiness to play a "constructive role" to help settle the Ukraine crisis, China's state media reported.
In a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Xi said, "All parties concerned must take a responsible stance, thus promoting the correct settlement of the crisis in Ukraine."
"China is prepared to keep playing its constructive role," the Chinese state-run TV quoted Xi as saying.
Xi emphasised that China has always independently assessed the situation on the basis of the historical context and the merits of the issue, and actively promoted world peace and the stability of the global economic order, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
All parties should push for a proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis in a responsible manner, Xi said, adding that China for this purpose will continue to play its due role.
However, it is not yet clear whether Xi has offered to mediate to end the Russia-Ukraine war, shedding Beijing's earlier reluctance to do so.
China, a close ally of Russia, steadfastly declined to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine ever since Putin launched a special military operation, which led to the United States and its allies imposing sweeping sanctions on Russia and stepping up weapons supplies to Kiev.
The Russian-Ukraine conflict turned into a war when Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
For his part, Putin while congratulating China’s remarkable development and achievements under the strong leadership of Xi, expressed Russia's support to the Chinese president’s new initiatives, the Global Security Initiative (GSI) and opposes any force to interfere with China's internal affairs using so-called issues like Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, among others, as an excuse.
He noted that Russia is ready to strengthen multilateral coordination with China so as to make constructive efforts in boosting multipolarisation of the world, and establishing a more just and reasonable international order, the Xinhua report said.
During his conversation with Putin, Xi noted that since the beginning of the year, bilateral relations between China and Russia have maintained a sound development momentum in the face of global turbulence and transformations.
The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has made steady progress, Xi said, adding that the Heihe-Blagoveshchensk cross-border highway bridge has opened to traffic, creating a new channel connecting the two countries.
The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Russian side to push for steady and long-term development of practical bilateral cooperation, Xi said.
China is willing to work with Russia to continue supporting each other on their respective core interests concerning sovereignty and security, as well as on their major concerns, deepening their strategic coordination, and strengthening communication and coordination in such important international and regional organisations as the United Nations, the BRICS mechanism and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, he said.
China is also willing to work with Russia to promote solidarity and cooperation among emerging market countries and developing nations, and push for the development of the international order and global governance towards a more just and reasonable direction, Xi added.
(With PTI inputs)