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China urges 'restraint' after Russia's foreign minister raises prospect of nuclear war

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin. GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images
  • China called for "restraint" after Russia's foreign minister raised the prospect of the "real" threat of nuclear war over Ukraine.
  • "No one wants to see the outbreak of a third world war," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
  • Wenbin added, "We hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed and exercise restraint."
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

China on Tuesday called for "restraint" after Russia's foreign minister raised the prospect of the "real" threat of nuclear war amid Russian President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine

"No one wants to see the outbreak of a third world war," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters during a briefing on Tuesday.

Wenbin added, "We hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed and exercise restraint, prevent escalation of tension, realise 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 was responding to a question about recent remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who warned the West to not underestimate the "serious" and "real" risks of a third world war by getting involved in Russia's two-month-long war with Ukraine. 

During an interview broadcast on Russian state TV on Monday, Lavrov was asked about the risks of a third world war and whether US and Russia tensions could be compared to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, Reuters reported.

Lavrov claimed Russia was aiming to prevent another world war but said "the risks now are considerable," Reuters reported. 

"I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it," Lavrov said, according to the news outlet. 

Russia's war against Ukraine has already left thousands dead and caused more than 5 million people to flee the eastern European country since Russia invaded on February 24. 

Last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China would "strengthen strategic coordination" with Russia no matter what. 

"No matter 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 with a shared future for mankind," China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said to the Russian ambassador to China Andrey Denisov, CNN reported. 

China has boosted its alliance with Russia in recent years, and the two countries have become major trade partners.

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