On the phone on Thursday, top Chinese ambassador Qin Gang informed his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing is worried about an escalation of the war in Ukraine and urges Moscow and Kyiv to resume peace talks.
Although China has refrained from directly criticising Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, it has issued a 12-point document aimed at finding a “political conclusion” to the conflict in Ukraine.
The proposal, which was met with tepid approval on both sides, urged the safeguarding of people and the recognition of each other’s sovereignty.
Qin told Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, “Beijing hopes that all sides would stay calm, sensible, and controlled, and begin peace discussions as soon as possible,” according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry. The virtual meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is scheduled to take place as soon as next week. Some analysts have suggested that Xi may serve as a “back channel” to help get Russia and Ukraine talking to one another, despite the fact that doing so is unlikely to be easy.
The “importance of the idea of territorial integrity” was a topic of conversation, according to Kuleba, who spoke with Qin.
“I emphasised the necessity of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s) Peace Formula for halting the aggression and establishing fair peace in Ukraine,” Kuleba stated on Twitter.
Ukraine has said that the departure of Russian forces from the boundaries of Ukraine in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, must be a part of any peace proposal.
Soon, maybe next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet virtually with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and Zelenskiy.
There is consensus among analysts that China would struggle to get Russia and Ukraine to the negotiation table, but some have suggested that Xi may serve as a “back channel” to kickstart momentum towards talks.