On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters during a briefing, “No one wants to see the outbreak of a third world war.”
Wenbin added, “We hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed and exercise restraint, prevent escalation of tension, realize peace as soon as possible and avoid inflicting a heavier price on Europe and the world.”
“We should reflect on why Europe has again got caught up in the geopolitical conflict more than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, on how to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture, and on how to strengthen the global security governance system,” Wenbin said.
Wenbin’s response for restraint came after Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov spoke openly about the serious risk of World War III and raised the prospect of the “real” threat of nuclear war in an interview that aired Monday.
Lavrov was taking part in an interview with Russia’s Channel One when he brought up the possibility of an escalation of the Russian-Ukraine war into a nuclear conflict. A week before, in an interview with India Today, he insisted that Russia would use “conventional weapons only” in the Ukraine conflict.
Lavrov’s remarks about a nuclear conflict seemed to arise from the possibility that the war could spready beyond Ukraine’s borders and result in a major nuclear power like the U.S. becoming involved militarily.
Lavrov also said during the Channel One interview that both Moscow and Washington should commit again to the pledge from former Russian and American leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan that “there can be no winners in a nuclear war.”
“The risks are very significant for a third world. I don’t want them artificially inflated,” Lavrov said. “The danger is serious, real. It cannot be underestimated.”
The conflict in the Russia-Ukraine war has so far involved only the two countries, although Ukraine is receiving substantial military aid from other nations, including the U.S. But there are concerns that the conflict could expand and involve the international community.
Last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China would strengthen strategic coordination with Russia no matter what.
According to CNN, China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said to the Russian Ambassador to China, Andrey Denisov, “No mater how the international landscape may change, China will continue to strengthen strategic coordination with Russia to achieve win-win cooperation, jointly safeguard our common interests and promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community shared future for mankind.”
China has boosted its alliances with Russia in recent years, and the two countries have become major trade partners.