By JOE McDONALD
AP Business Writer
BEIJING (AP) — China has called for talks to resolve the Ukraine crisis and avoided criticizing President Vladimir Putin’s attack. In a step that could help reduce the impact of Western sanctions, Beijing also approved imports of Russian wheat. Chinese ties with Russia have grown stronger under President Xi Jinping, who met Putin this month in Beijing. China’s multibillion-dollar purchases of Russian gas for its energy-hungry economy have been a lifeline to Putin, who already was under Western sanctions over Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea from Ukraine. China is the only major government to refrain from condemning Putin’s attack but it has tempered that by calling for restraint and respect for national sovereignty.