China on Monday called on the International Criminal Court to avoid “double standards”, after the court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.
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The Russian president is accused by the International Criminal Court, which is based in The Hague (Netherlands), of committing a war crime for the “illegal deportation” of Ukrainian children in the context of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
The Chinese reaction comes hours before the start of a state visit by President Xi Jinping to Russia, the first in nearly four years, during which he will meet Vladimir Putin.
“The ICC should adopt an objective and impartial stance, and respect the jurisdictional immunity of heads of state under international law,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for Chinese diplomacy on Monday, in response to a question on the matter.
He stressed to the press the need for the institution to “avoid politicization and the policy of double standards,” referring to other military interventions that did not result in any arrest warrant against the head of state.
Wang Wenbin has been questioned about the opportunity for Xi Jinping to confirm his state visit to Russia despite the international arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin.
Wang Wenbin replied: “The two sides (…) will practice true multilateralism, promote democracy in international relations, build a multipolar world, improve global governance, and contribute to development and progress in the world.”
China will maintain its objective and fair stance on the Ukraine crisis and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks.
China has not publicly condemned the Russian invasion and has criticized the United States for delivering weapons to Ukraine as well as NATO for failing to heed Russia’s security concerns.
However, Beijing calls for dialogue as well as respect for the territorial integrity of all countries – including Ukraine.