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Ukraine war

Xi's call with Zelenskyy seen as attempt to blunt European criticism

Talk came after China's envoy to France questioned sovereignty of ex-Soviet states

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke for an hour by phone on April 26.   © AP

BEIJING/VIENNA -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy marked an apparent course correction from a string of events that had suggested a pro-Russia stance by Beijing in Western eyes.

The official China Central Television reported Xi's words with unusual haste after Wednesday's conversation. Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out of the Ukraine crisis, and China will work toward an early cease-fire, he said, according to CCTV.

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