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UNITED NATIONS: China on Saturday at the United Nations urged Russia and Ukraine not to let effects of their war “spill over” and called for a diplomatic resolution.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also sounded a fresh warning on Taiwan amid tensions in the Taiwan Strait, saying Beijing would take “forceful steps” to prevent any outside support for the island’s independence.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, China’s top diplomat stopped short of robustly supporting the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, nominally an ally of Beijing.

“We call on all parties concerned to keep the crisis from spilling over and to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” Wang said.

He called for “fair and pragmatic” peace talks to resolve all global issues.

“China supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis. The pressing priority is to facilitate talks for peace,” Wang said.

Chinese and Ukrainian foreign ministers meet in New York

“The fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all parties and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture.”

During his visit to the United Nations, Wang met with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, in their first talks since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Chinese “concerns” about Ukraine during a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping.

Before the war, Putin had visited Beijing and the two nations declared a tight alliance.

But US officials have been heartened by what they see as China’s lack of concrete backing for the war and say that Beijing has declined requests to send military equipment, forcing Russia to rely on North Korea and Iran as its own supplies dwindle.

China’s reaction to Russia is being closely watched for clues on its approach to Taiwan, a self-governing democracy that Beijing claims as its territory.

Wang met Friday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and warned about efforts to back Taiwan, amid a push in the US Congress to supply direct military assistance to the island.

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