Top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Beijing remains “impartial” about the war in Ukraine, a day after a Chinese delegation took part in international talks in Saudi Arabia to end the conflict, joined by Kiev but not Moscow.
In a telephone conversation on August 7, Wang Yi stressed to Sergey Lavrov that China and Russia are “reliable and kind friends and partners who can be trusted.”
“On the crisis in Ukraine, China will take an independent and impartial stance, express an objective and rational thought, actively promote peace talks, and try to seek a political solution in any international multilateral case,” Wang Yi said, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry. China.
The statement came after two days of talks in Saudi Arabia, where some 40 countries, including Ukraine’s key allies the United States, Britain and Germany, as well as India and a number of countries in the Middle East, met to discuss the settlement of the conflict, which has been going on for almost 18 months since the start of a full-scale Moscow. in Ukraine.
The group agreed on the importance of international dialogue to find “common positions that pave the way for peace,” according to official Saudi media.
Lavrov “appreciates and welcomes the constructive role played by China” in the political settlement of the “Ukraine crisis,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in an Aug. 7 report on the phone call.
China’s role in peacekeeping
On the eve of the talks in Jeddah, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called China’s participation “a super breakthrough and a historic victory.”
Ukraine and its Western allies have long expressed hope that China and its leader Xi Jinping, a self-described friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, can play a role in pushing Moscow towards peace.
Both Xi and Putin see each other as a critical partner in changing what they see as an American-led world order hostile to their goals.
China continues to strengthen its economic, diplomatic and security ties with Russia despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which Beijing has never condemned.
He did not send a delegation to previous international talks in Denmark in June, despite attempts to position himself as a potential peace mediator in the conflict in recent months.
China’s participation in the talks in Jeddah comes amid growing ties with Saudi Arabia and intensifying efforts to renew ties with key economic partners in Europe amid economic turmoil and ongoing tensions with Washington.
Beijing’s reputation in Europe has suffered greatly because of its support for Russia.
China’s Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui, who led the delegation, “had extensive contacts and communication with all parties regarding the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis … listened to the views and proposals of all parties, and further strengthened the international consensus,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. affairs. of China, published on August 7 by Reuters.
However, China’s participation in the talks does not appear to have changed its own stance on the conflict.
Beijing will continue to strengthen dialogue based on its 12-point position on a political solution to the crisis, the ministry said after the talks, Reuters reported.
This proposal, which Beijing put forward earlier this year, calls for peace talks to end the conflict. But it differs significantly from the Ukrainian vision of the world, as it calls for a ceasefire without calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops, an outcome that critics say would help Moscow consolidate its illegitimate wartime gains.
Ukraine and Russia remain publicly committed to the prerequisites for direct negotiations, which the other side considers unacceptable.
Close strategic cooperation
China’s proposal was also discussed during a phone conversation between Wang Yi and Lavrov on August 7, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry report that quoted Lavrov as saying that Russia “endorsed” the proposal.
The conversation also highlighted their common position on the international stage in a broader sense: Wang I called on the two sides to “cooperate closely and strategically” to advance a “multipolar world” and “democratize international relations”—terms used to express their common vision of world order. in which Western countries have less influence.
The official Russian report on this conversation, published by the TASS propaganda news agency, says that they “once again confirmed the unanimity or broad consensus in the approaches of Moscow and Beijing to world affairs.”
“They noted the rejection of the confrontational policy of the Western bloc towards Russia and China, its attempts to restrain their development through sanctions and other illegitimate methods,” TASS reports.
The call was the first since Wang I was reappointed as China’s foreign minister after the resignation of his successor, Qin Gang, who was abruptly replaced without explanation at the end of July after only six months in office.
Previously, Wang I was foreign minister for about a decade before being promoted to foreign affairs chief of the ruling Communist Party of China late last year. He currently holds both positions.
Source : TCH