China agrees with the United States that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine must be respected in its dispute with Russia, the White House said in a statement after top-level contacts between the two countries.
In comments posted on its website, China's foreign ministry said that State Councilor Yang Jiechi had urged all sides to exercise restraint and said the crisis must be resolved through political and diplomatic means.
The legitimate rights and interests of all ethnic groups in Ukraine must be taken into account, Yang told US President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice.
China is treading a cautious path in the dispute, withholding criticism of strategic partner Russia while adhering to its usual policy of not interfering in the affairs of other countries.
A White House statement on Wednesday said Yang and Rice reaffirmed the importance to Sino-US relations of deepening "practical co-operation to address regional and global challenges".
"They also agreed that the United States and China share an interest in supporting efforts to identify a peaceful resolution to the ongoing dispute between Russia and Ukraine that is based on respect for international law and upholds Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the statement said.