China expressed “serious concern” Wednesday over the destruction of a major Russian-held dam in Ukraine, with Beijing saying it feared the “humanitarian, economic and ecological impacts” of the incident.
“We express serious concern over the damage to the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant,” foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
Beijing is “deeply concerned about the resulting humanitarian, economic and ecological impacts”, he said.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and do their best to protect the safety of civilians and civilian facilities,” Wang said.
Ukraine is evacuating thousands of people after the dam’s destruction on Tuesday unleashed a torrent of water, with Moscow and Kyiv trading blame for the explosion.
VIDEO: Ukrainian volunteers evacuate animals from flooded Kherson region.— AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 7, 2023
Volunteers race to save animals from flooded streets as residents flee from the Kherson region, after an attack on a major Russian-held dam unleashed a torrent of water, flooding a small city and two… pic.twitter.com/611R4GTfaW
Washington has warned there would be “likely many deaths” from the destruction of the dam, which is located on the frontline and provides cooling water for Europe’s largest nuclear plant.
While China says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict, it has been criticised for refusing to condemn Moscow for its offensive.
Beijing’s “position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear”, Wang said.
“It is hoped that all parties will be committed to a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis and will jointly promote the alleviation of the situation,” he said.
China and Russia’s strategic partnership has only grown closer since the invasion of Ukraine, with data Wednesday showing trade between the two has soared to levels not seen since the beginning of Moscow’s war in February 2022.
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