On March 29, 2022, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with President and Foreign Minister of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis at the latter's request. The two sides mainly had in-depth communication on the Ukraine issue.
Wang Yi said that it is deplorable that the situation in Ukraine has developed to this point. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always decided on its position and policy according to the merits of the matter itself. President Xi Jinping recently gave the most authoritative elaboration of China's basic position during a video summit with the leaders of France and Germany. All of our measures are taken based on the "four musts" proposed by President Xi Jinping. China is committed to promoting peace talks, and has started to encourage Russia and Ukraine to conduct face-to-face negotiations from the next day after the outbreak of the conflict. The Chinese side has always maintained that only by strengthening the efforts of the international community to promote peace talks can space be explored for diplomatic mediation and settlement of the conflict. We will continue to contribute to this in our own way.
Wang Yi said, sanctions have never been an effective way to solve problems. The unlimited escalation of sanctions will not only worsen the difficult recovery of the global economy after the outbreak of the pandemic, but also further expand and complicate contradictions. The normal international economic and trade exchanges among non-conflicting parties should not be affected, and the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of all countries should be earnestly protected.
Cassis said that it is the largest war that broke out in Europe in more than 70 years, resulting in the displacement of a large number of civilians and having a serious impact on economic recovery, globalization and multilateralism. The Swiss side also believes that diplomacy is the only correct way to deal with it, and we stand for resolving differences through dialogues and negotiations. Switzerland maintains dialogue with Russia and Ukraine, and it does not support the exclusion of Russia from multilateral institutions. Switzerland will continue to uphold its status as a neutral country and provide goodwill services for diplomatic mediation and the promotion of peace talks.
Wang Yi stressed that China has put forward a six-point initiative for preventing a larger-scale humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, provided two batches of emergency humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, and helped its neighboring countries resettle the displaced Ukrainian people. China and Switzerland share the same near-term goal of ending hostilities in Ukraine as soon as possible and avoiding a humanitarian crisis. In the long run, all parties should accommodate each other's legitimate concerns and explore the building of a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture. China appreciates Switzerland's repeated commitment to permanent neutrality and its role as a bridge-builder in international affairs. China looks forward to Switzerland's unique influence and role, and it stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Switzerland.
Cassis agreed that the European security framework should be rebuilt, saying Switzerland attaches great importance to China's status as a major country and its international influence. Switzerland is willing to explore ways to strengthen cooperation with China and jointly play a constructive role in seeking a diplomatic solution.