State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China disapproves of using sanctions as a means to solve problems and rejects unilateral sanctions that are not based on international law.
Experience has shown that sanctions do not solve problems, but create new ones. They not only result in "lose-lose" or "all-lose" economic situations but also interfere with the process of a political settlement, Wang said on Saturday in a phone conversation with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Wang also explained why China prevented the invoking of references to Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter－which authorizes the use of force and sanctions－in a draft resolution on Ukraine, and vowed China would continue to play a constructive role in seeking and realizing peace.
China abstained from a vote on a draft resolution on Ukraine, proposed by the United States and other countries at the UN Security Council on Friday.
If the Security Council takes action, it should contribute to a political settlement of the current crisis rather than incite new confrontations, Wang said, adding that China supports all efforts that are conducive to de-escalation and a political settlement of the Ukraine issue.
He said China, being a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has always fulfilled its responsibilities of safeguarding international peace and security.
On the issue of European security, the legitimate concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, Wang said, adding that following five consecutive rounds of NATO's eastward expansion, Russia's legitimate security concerns should be solved in a proper way.
Given that the Cold War has been over for a long time, Wang said it is necessary for NATO to reconsider its position and responsibilities. China believes the Cold War mentality based on bloc confrontation should be completely abandoned.
China supports NATO, the European Union and Russia resuming dialogue and seeking to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism so as to achieve lasting peace and stability on the continent, he said.
The phone call over the weekend is China's latest move in a series of intensive diplomatic interactions to facilitate peace talks in its own way, and help defuse the Ukraine situation.
On Friday, President Xi Jinping spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the phone. Wang also held phone talks on the same day with senior diplomats from the United Kingdom, the EU and France, expounding China's basic position on the Ukraine issue.