Obama discusses Ukraine with Chinese leader

March 10, 2014 - 8:34 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) have agreed on the importance of upholding Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The White House says the two leaders spoke Sunday evening. The White House says Obama and Xi have a shared interest in finding a peaceful resolution to the dispute between Ukraine and Russia and reducing tensions in the region.

Russian military forces have taken control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. Lawmakers there plan to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to become part of Russia.

China has frequently sided with Russia against the West. But Beijing also frequently argues on behalf of maintaining territorial sovereignty.