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China to face France, Nigeria, Mali in Women's Basketball World Cup qualifiers******
GENEVA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- China will face France, Nigeria and Mali in Group B of the 2022 FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup qualifying tournaments next February, after the draw was made here on Tuesday.。
The four World Cup qualifiers will be played in Belgrade, Osaka and Washington D.C. from February 10 to 13, 2022, with Belgrade scheduled to host Group A and B matches.。
Group A features Australia, South Korea, Serbia and Brazil. Group C matches, to be staged in Osaka, feature Bosnia and Herzegovina, Japan, Canada and Belarus. In Group D, Russia, the United States, Puerto Rico and Belgium will take each other on in Washington D.C..。
The top three finishers from each qualifying tournament will secure their places in the 12-team flagship global women's basketball competition, which will take place in Sydney, Australia from September 22 to October 1, 2022.。
Host nation Australia and the Tokyo Olympic champions the United States have already earned automatic qualification, meaning that the two other best-placed teams will advance from those qualifying tournaments featuring Australia and the USA. Enditem。
Chinese envoy discourages action that may escalate situation in Ukraine******
The results of a vote at the United Nations General Assembly are displayed on a screen during a special session on Ukraine issue on March 2, 2022, in New York City.
A Chinese envoy on Wednesday discouraged action that may escalate the situation in Ukraine.
"Blindly exerting pressure and imposing sanctions and creating division and confrontation will only further complicate the situation and result in a rapid negative spillover of the crisis, and affect even more countries," warned Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
"We call on the international community to take a responsible attitude, and promote the relevant parties to immediately return to the track of political settlement, and use dialogue and consultation to seek a comprehensive solution to the Ukraine issue," he said in an explanation of vote after the adoption of a resolution on Ukraine by the UN General Assembly.
Stressing that China is ready to continue its constructive role in this regard, Zhang said that China's basic position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and unequivocal.
China always believes that all countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, and that international disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Any action by the United Nations and the relevant parties should give priority to regional peace and stability and the universal security of all parties, and should play a positive role in de-escalation and diplomatic solutions, Zhang said.
Regrettably, he added, the draft resolution had not undergone full consultations within the whole membership, nor did it take full consideration the history and complexity of the current crisis. It did not highlight the importance of the principle of indivisible security, or the urgency of promoting political settlement and stepping up diplomatic efforts. These are not in line with China's consistent positions. Therefore, China had no choice but to abstain.
The top priority right now is to ease the situation on the ground as much as possible, and prevent the situation from escalating or even getting out of control. Russia and Ukraine have already held their first round of negotiations. Despite their differences, both sides have shown willingness to continue the negotiations. China welcomes this, said Zhang.
Faced with the highly complex and sensitive situation, China once again calls on the international community to stick to the overall direction of political settlement and foster an enabling atmosphere and conditions for direct dialogues and negotiations between the parties concerned, he said.
The final settlement of the Ukraine crisis requires the abandonment of the Cold War mentality, the abandonment of the logic of ensuring one's own security at the expense of others' security, and the abandonment of the approach of seeking regional security by expanding military blocs. It is important to give full attention and respect to the legitimate security concerns of all countries, and on that basis conduct negotiations to put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism, he said.
All Russia's security concerns must be taken into account for settlement in Ukraine: Putin******
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the National Space Centre construction site in Moscow on February 27, 2022.
All Moscow's security concerns must be taken into account for settlement in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Putin reiterated that a settlement would only be possible if Russia's security concerns were taken into account, including "Russia's sovereignty over Crimea," as well as the country's commitment to solving the tasks of Ukraine's demilitarization and denazification, and the issue of Ukraine's neutral status, the Kremlin said in a statement.
Putin said Russia is open to negotiations with Ukraine and expressed hope they would lead to the desired result.
"The French side expressed its well-known views on Russia's special military operation... and expressed hope for a quick settlement of the conflict through dialogue," the Kremlin said.
Putin said that Russia's armed forces are not striking civilian objects, and do not pose a threat to civilians.
"Ukrainian nationalists, who have been using their civilian population 'as a human shield,' are a threat," Putin said.
According to the Elysee, Macron asked Russia to respect international law and protect the civil population.
"The French President reaffirmed the necessity to implement an immediate ceasefire," the Elysee said.
Putin and Macron agreed to hold further contacts.