Chinese representative to facilitate talks for peace in Ukraine
Beijing/Kyiv: In the course of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hour-long telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday – the first since the war in Ukraine, Xi told Zelenkyy that China will send the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs to Ukraine and other countries to have in-depth communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, said today in Beijing that the Special Representative appointed by China “is certainly someone well versed in relevant affairs and capable of playing a positive role in facilitating talks for peace”.
Divulging details of the conversation between the two leaders, Ning said that Xi, who had recently been to Moscow and made proposals on resolving the “acute” Ukraine crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin, told Zelenskyy that “No matter how the international situation evolves, China will work with Ukraine to advance mutually beneficial cooperation”.
Zelenskyy though emphasised the importance of all states refraining from supporting Russia in the war. “This should apply to military-technical cooperation, including the supply of weapons,” he told Xi.
Later, addressing his people, Zelenskyy said “There is an opportunity to use China’s political influence to restore the strength of the principles and rules on which peace should be based”. He said he presented the Ukrainian Peace Formula, its specific points before Xi. “We agreed to continue our communications,” he disclosed.
President Xi noted the Chinese proposals of four points about what must be done, four things the international community must do together and three observations. He asserted that dialogue and negotiation were the “only viable way forward”, and said China will continue to facilitate talks for peace and make its efforts for an early ceasefire and restoration of peace.
Xi also thanked Ukraine for its “strong” assistance in the evacuation of Chinese nationals last year. “Mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is the political foundation of China-Ukraine relations. The two sides need to look to the future, view and handle the bilateral relations from a long-term perspective, carry forward the tradition of mutual respect and sincerity, and take the China-Ukraine strategic partnership forward,” he told Zelenskyy who thanked China for providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and welcomed China’s important role in restoring peace and seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Zelenskyy also reaffirmed Ukraine’s unwavering position on adherence to the “One China” policy.
“Before the full-scale Russian invasion, China was Ukraine’s number one trading partner. I believe that our conversation today will give a powerful impetus to the return, preservation and development of this dynamic at all levels,” the President of Ukraine emphasised.
Zelenskyy stressed that the ongoing Russian occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the use of the plant as a cover for military strikes at Ukrainian cities and villages demonstrated that “Moscow does not respect the fair interest of all people of the world to live in guaranteed safety from any nuclear or radiation threats”. In this regard, he called on Xi to play an effective role in the settlement of the security issue around the ZNPP. He also emphasized Ukraine’s readiness to remain a guarantor of global food security and noted that Ukrainian ports are currently hostage to Russian aggression and are “blocked by the aggressor state, and our export routes are blocked with them [Russia]”.
“It is very important that China shares our view of freedom of navigation and trade. I briefed Mr. Xi Jinping on our efforts to restore seaborne food exports. And I heard words of support for our Black Sea Grain Initiative and its extension, as well as support for our humanitarian efforts, in particular the Grain from Ukraine programme,” Zelenskyy said in his address to the nation after his talks with Xi.
“Let me also stress that China will continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” Ning told journalists.
– global bihari bureau