Penny Wong urges China to pressure Russia to end war

Secretary of State Penny Wong has urged China to exert its influence over Russia to war in Ukraine

Wong also marked a meeting with her Chinese counterpart at the G20 summit in the Indonesian island of Bali later this year.

In a speech in Singapore on Wednesday night, Wong said China should use its strong ties with Russia to lobby for an end to the fighting.

Secretary of State Penny Wong has urged China to use its influence over Russia to help end the war in Ukraine. (Getty)

She said it is vital that powerful countries “exert their influence” on Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict.

“This includes China, as a great power, a permanent member of the (UN) Security Council, and with its no-limits partnership with Russia,” Wong said at an event organized by the think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies. †

“Exerting such influence would do a lot to build confidence in our own region.

“The region and the world are now looking at Beijing’s actions in relation to Ukraine.”

China has refused to criticize or even refer to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in such terms, accusing NATO and the West of provoking Moscow to attack.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk during their meeting in Beijing, China, Friday, February 4, 2022.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (AP)

Xi told Putin that “all sides must press responsibly for a proper solution to the crisis in Ukraine,” the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Xi “took note of the legitimacy of the actions Russia has taken to protect basic national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by outside forces,” the official readout from Moscow said.

Wong also urged China to exercise moderation in its relations with its own Pacific neighbors, stressing that doing so would “increase confidence in the region and the world.”

She did not confirm whether a meeting between her and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali was scheduled for November, but said the federal government is “open to engagement” with China.

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