Saturday, May 11

Ukraine: China’s Xi Jinping calls Volodymyr Zelenskyy for first time since Russian invasion

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned he has had a “long and meaningful” name with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

During the long-anticipated dialog between the 2 leaders, Xi appealed for Russia and Ukraine to restart peace talks and warned “there is no winner in a nuclear war”, based on state media.

The Chinese authorities additionally pledged to ship a “special representative” to Kyiv for talks a few potential “political settlement”.

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Writing on Twitter following the dialogue, Mr Zelenskyy mentioned: “I had a protracted and significant telephone name with President Xi Jinping.

“I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine’s ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.”

It comes two months after Beijing mentioned it wished to behave as a peace mediator.

China has tried to seem impartial in regards to the battle, however has refused to sentence Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

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President Xi reportedly mentioned China will ship particular representatives to Ukraine to carry talks with “all parties” on the “political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis”.

He mentioned China is prepared to proceed to supply “humanitarian assistance” to Ukraine.

“The two sides should focus on the future, persist in viewing and planning bilateral relations from a long-term perspective, continue the tradition of mutual respect and sincerity between the two sides,” he mentioned.

‘No winner in a nuclear warfare’

“Negotiation is the only viable way out,” Chinese state TV additionally quoted Xi as saying in a report in regards to the name.

He added: “There is no winner in a nuclear war.

“All events involved ought to stay calm and restrained in coping with the nuclear subject and actually take a look at the long run and future of themselves and humanity as a complete and work collectively to handle the disaster.”

Before the February 2022 invasion, the Chinese president and Vladimir Putin issued a joint assertion saying their governments had a “no limits friendship”.

China’s new function as peacemaker is unlikely to vary a lot in actuality

There have been rumours this name was going to occur across the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

It’s come to go a bit of later than first anticipated, however it’s no much less vital.

For the Chinese it performs an necessary function of their declare to be a impartial peacemaker – bear in mind China says it needs to dealer peace and has by no means overtly condemned or condoned the warfare.

But the truth is China has offered finance expertise and essential diplomatic cowl to Russia, and Xi has spoken to Putin quite a few occasions for the reason that invasion and even spent a three-day state go to to Moscow in March.

Many requested how China might probably declare to be impartial in mild of all this and have by no means even spoken to Zelenskyy; it now has the reply to these critiques. However, whereas this name permits China to proceed to current itself as “the great statesman” – it’s in all probability unlikely to vary a lot in actuality.

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But earlier this yr, the Chinese authorities launched a peace proposal and referred to as for a ceasefire and talks.

The telephone name between the 2 leaders was for China one other step towards deeper involvement in resolving the continued warfare.

It comes after Mr Zelenskyy mentioned in late March that he had not spoken with Xi for the reason that warfare started and has repeatedly requested to fulfill with him – together with after he visited Mr Putin in Moscow final month.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony before Russia - China talks in narrow format at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023. Sputnik/Sergei Karpukhin/Pool via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes arms with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Moscow final month

Why China’s stance issues

An official for China’s overseas ministry added that President Xi’s name with President Zelenskyy “shows China’s objective, impartial position on international affairs”.

They mentioned what the nation has completed to assist resolve the disaster has been “above board”.

Sky’s Asia correspondent Helen-Ann Smith mentioned the telephone name between President Zelenskyy and President Xi is “really significant”.

She added: “China’s position on this war is really very important, it is presenting itself as a potential peacemaker.

“It needs to be seen as the facility able to brokering peace as a result of it says it is without doubt one of the solely mutual events.

“The West sees that claim with a degree of scepticism. China has never condemned the invasion, but it has provided Russia with finance and technology and significant diplomatic cover.”

The telephone name between the 2 leaders additionally comes after France President Emmanuel Macron urged Xi to “bring Russia back to its senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table” over the Ukraine warfare earlier this month.

Mr Macron had been on a go to to Beijing with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who mentioned she expects China to advertise a simply peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty.

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