Top China And US Envoys Speak With Ukrainian
Foreign Minister About War’s Outlook

Dmytro Kuleba has calls from both Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday

Beijing focuses on promoting peace talks, while Washington continues to pledge aid in combating Russian invasion

By Laura Zhou
South China Morning Post

March 17 , 2023 - Senior diplomats from China and the US each spoke with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday, with Beijing vowing to promote peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow while Washington pledged enduring aid to repel Russia’s invasion.

In Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s telephone conversation with Kuleba, according to the ministry, Qin told him that “China is concerned about the protracted and escalating crisis and the possibility of it getting out of control”.

“It is hoped that Ukraine and Russia would keep the door open for dialogue and negotiation, and not close the door to a political settlement – no matter how difficult and challenging it may be,” Qin was quoted in the readout as saying.

It comes amid reports that President Xi Jinping will visit Moscow next week, and that talks with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky could follow.

Beijing will continue to push for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, a Chinese envoy to the United Nations said, amid reports that President Xi Jinping is to visit Moscow next week.

Speaking at a Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, also cautioned against the Sinophobia and the zero-sum-game mentality of “politicians in individual countries” that he said would drag the world into another crisis, according to China News Service.

“They are biased and suspicious of China, selling anxiety and creating tension,” Geng told representatives at the discussion, without directly naming the United States or other Western powers.

“If a country’s policy towards China is kidnapped by Sinophobia, it will only cling to a zero-sum-game mentality and pursue containment and suppression, leading to conflict and confrontation,” he said.

“The world has already been thrown into chaos by the Ukrainian crisis – do they want to create another one to change the world beyond recognition?”

China released 12-point position paper on 1-year anniversary of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Geng said dialogue was “the only viable way out” of the war in Ukraine, and that Beijing was willing to “play a constructive role” to push for a political settlement based on its 12-point position paper. China released the paper on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month.

There has been speculation that Beijing – which brokered a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran last week – could try to play a more active role in mediating an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that Xi, whose unprecedented third term as Chinese president began last week, plans to have a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

It would be the first time Xi has spoken with Zelensky since Russia invaded Ukraine. The talks would likely take place after Xi visits Moscow, reportedly next week, when he is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Beijing has not confirmed the talks with Zelensky or Xi’s trip to Moscow. When asked on Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said only that Beijing had been in communication with Russia and other parties.

US President Joe Biden on Monday said that he also expected to hold talks with Xi soon.

Russia invaded Ukraine 1 year ago. What has happened so far?

Tuesday’s UN Security Council meeting was convened at the request of Moscow to highlight what it called Ukraine’s “Russophobia”, which Russian representative Vasily Nebenzya said had become the country’s “bulwark ideology”. That claim was challenged by representatives from the US, the UK, and Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder, who said the term was “a form of imperial propaganda and an attempt to justify Moscow’s war crimes in Ukraine”.

Geng told the meeting that phobias had become “the logical premise and policy pretext with which certain countries create imaginary enemies, concoct threat theories, pursue containment and suppression and stoke division and confrontation”.

He said that as a result, “differences are artificially magnified, divisions are one-sidedly highlighted, contradictions are fixed and reinforced, and the world is dragged into a swamp of conflict and strife”.

Geng added that wars could not be ended by estrangement, prejudice and hatred. ...Read More