Most of China’s around 6,000 citizens in Ukraine have been evacuated, as Russia steps up its shelling of multiple cities. Beijing’s embassy in Kyiv made the announcement via social media on Monday and urged remaining Chinese nationals to leave the country as soon as possible. “At present, the tense situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate,” it said. Unlike many other countries, China waited until after war broke out on February 24 before telling its citizens to evacuate. In the weeks leading up to the conflict, Chinese state media dismissed US warnings of an imminent Russian invasion. Beijing has walked a diplomatic tightrope during the crisis, refusing to condemn its close ally Russia, which has been targeted by a barrage of international sanctions. Some Chinese citizens reported hostility or violence from locals in Ukraine over the Chinese government’s perceived support of Moscow. Last week, China’s foreign ministry said it had helped around 3,000 Chinese nationals to evacuate, mostly via land transport after Ukraine closed its airspace. The first government-chartered evacuation flight landed in China on Saturday from Romania. As the conflict worsened last week, one Chinese national was wounded by a bullet while trying to flee to western Ukraine. Beijing has not confirmed who fired the shot. During a call with his Ukrainian counterpart last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged Ukraine to “assume its due international responsibility” in keeping Chinese citizens safe. In recent days there have been reports of Russian soldiers violating ceasefire agreements and targeting civilians, as besieged cities try to set up humanitarian corridors for evacuation purposes.