China is “deeply concerned” by the escalation of Ukraine conflicts and the possibility of the situation getting out of control, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday.

Beijing, which last year entered into a “no limits” partnership with Moscow, has refrained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The US has warned of consequences if China provides military support to Russia, which Beijing says it will not do.

“We call on some countries to immediately cease fire,” Qin said during a speech, adding that those nations must also “stop hyping up ‘today Ukraine, tomorrow Taiwan.’

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“We firmly stand against any form of hegemony, against any foreign interference in China’s affairs,” he said.

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Also on Tuesday, China released a document on the Global Security Initiative (GSI), President Xi Jinping’s flagship security proposal aimed at upholding the principle of “indivisible security”, a concept also supported by Russia.

On Monday, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi called for a negotiated solution to the Ukraine war during a stopover in Hungary before a visit to Moscow.

Beijing has refrained from condemning Moscow’s operation against Ukraine or calling it an “invasion” in line with the Kremlin, which describes the war as a “special military operation” designed to protect Russia’s own security.

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‘Serious consequences’ for US-China relationship if Chinese give lethal aid to Russia: Blinken

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned on Saturday that the US is very concerned that China is considering providing “lethal aid” to Russia, which he told Wang “would have serious consequences in our relationship.”

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“There are different types of lethal assistance that they are at least considering providing, to include weapons,” Blinken said in an interview with NBC News, adding that Washington would soon release more details.

Any Chinese arms deliveries to Russia would risk a potential escalation of the Ukraine war into a confrontation between Russia and China on the one hand and Ukraine and the US-led NATO military alliance on the other.

Xi has stood by Russian President Vladimir Putin and resists Western pressure to isolate Moscow. Sino-Russian trade has soared since the invasion of Ukraine, and Russia has sold Asian powers including China larger volumes of oil.

(Reporting by Martin Pollard, Laurie Chen; Writing by Bernard Orr; Editing by Tom Hogue & Shri Navaratnam)

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