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China's Xi Jinping Urges Political Solution to Crisis in Ukraine

China's President Xi Jinping pictured in Caracas on July 20.

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping has repeated a call for the crisis in Ukraine to be resolved politically via an inclusive dialogue, during talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, China's Foreign Ministry said.

"China stands for resolving the Ukraine crisis through political means, and calls on all parties in Ukraine to open an inclusive dialogue as early as possible," the ministry cited Xi as saying in a statement issued late Thursday.

"Relevant parties need to get to the bottom of the matter and fundamentally sort out and resolve the problem," Xi told Putin during a meeting in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit.

The ministry said that Putin had briefed Xi on Russia's view and stance on the crisis, adding that Russia attaches importance to and appreciates China's position and proposals on the issue and is willing to keep in touch with China.

China has adopted a cautious, low-key response to the crisis, not wanting either to alienate key ally Russia or comment directly on the referendum in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, lest it set a precedent for its own restive regions, like Tibet.

Beijing, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has repeatedly called for a political solution to the crisis.

But China has also said it would like to continue to develop "friendly cooperation" with Ukraine and that it respects Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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