China's Cooperation With Europe 'Unlimited' as With Russia

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BEIJING, China (Reuters) – China's cooperation and ties with Europe are "endless", just as they are with Russia. In an interview published Monday, China's envoy for the European Union reassured readers of China's neutrality in regards to Ukraine.

The Paper, a Chinese newspaper, did not know when Fu Cong gave his interview.

Its publication follows the controversial remarks made by China's Ambassador to France on Friday, in which he questioned the sovereignties of former Soviet Union countries including Ukraine.

Different EU diplomats have criticised China for refusing to call Russia's war in Ukraine an invasion or for calling for a Russian withdraw. They noted that Beijing and Moscow had declared a partnership "without limits" just days before Russian forces launched their attack against Ukraine.

Fu, a newspaper reporter, said: "The European side must correctly understand that the phrase 'no maximum limit' is meant to be understood by all." "Friendships and cooperation between countries are limitless and shouldn't be artificially restricted. Sino-Russian co-operation is "unlimited", as is the case for China and Europe."

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Fu rejected claims that China was "aware" or had been supplying arms to the Ukraine conflict.

Last month, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell stated that it would be "extremely hard" for the EU maintain a trusting relationship with China if China did not contribute to a search for a solution based on Russia withdrawing from Ukrainian territory.

Borrell also said earlier this month: "Neutrality is not credible when it comes to violations of international law."

Europe has also criticised China's naval drills and air force exercises in the Taiwan Strait, around the island of democratically-governed Taiwan and the area surrounding it.

Borrell, in a Sunday opinion piece published in the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, called for European navies patrolling the Taiwan Strait.