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China says Ukraine crisis driven by 'invisible hand'

China's foreign minister has described the Ukraine crisis as seeming to "be driven by an invisible hand pushing for the protraction and escalation of the conflict".

The "invisible hand" is "using the Ukraine crisis to serve certain geopolitical agendas", Qin Gang said on the sidelines of an annual parliament meeting in Beijing, calling for dialogue to begin as soon as possible.

"Conflict, sanctions, and pressure will not solve the problem...The process of peace talks should begin as soon as possible, and the legitimate security concerns of all parties should be respected," Qin said.

Qin's reiteration of China's position on the Ukraine war comes amid growing tensions between Beijing and the European Union, which has questioned China's sincerity as a mediator when it has refused to name Russia as the aggressor in the conflict.

Qin also said Beijing has not provided weapons to either side of the Ukraine conflict, amid loud warnings from US officials on unspecified "consequences" for China, should it send lethal aid to Russia.

"(China) is not a party to the crisis and has not provided weapons to either side of the conflict. So on what basis is this talk of blame, sanctions and threats against China? This is absolutely unacceptable."