China demanded that Russia leave the occupied territories of Ukraine
Chinese envoy Li Hui, tasked with promoting Xi Jinping’s peace plan for Ukraine, has made a tough demand to Western diplomats with whom he has held talks in European capitals.
China is urging Russia to keep its occupied Ukrainian territories, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing officials familiar with the results of Li Hui’s European tour.
A Chinese diplomat visiting Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Brussels, a former ambassador to Moscow, called for an end to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict as soon as possible and to prevent its escalation, sources told WSJ.
According to them, however, Chinese ideas were received without enthusiasm. “We have made it clear that it is not in the interest of the world community to freeze the conflict unless there is a withdrawal of Russian troops (from Ukraine),” a diplomat who spoke with Lee told the WSJ.
He added that the Chinese envoy had been made to understand that “Europe and America cannot be separated” and that European support for Ukraine would continue.
The Chinese interest, WSJ sources say, appears to be that Russia does not lose the war and resort to nuclear weapons. And while it’s too early to dismiss Beijing’s efforts to resolve the crisis, the EU doubts China’s willingness to be an impartial mediator in the negotiations given its close ties to Moscow, the sources say.
After the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China increased its purchases of Russian oil by 1.4 times, coal by 127% and aluminum by 200%. Chinese exports to Russia hit a record $9.5 billion a month (up 153% in April), while total trade grew 30% last year and another 38% in the first quarter of this year. Chinese President Xi Jinping was the only one of the world’s leading powers to visit Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, against whom the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant.
According to WSJ sources, EU countries are concerned about the rapprochement of Putin and Xi and share the position of the United States, which claims that peace in Ukraine is impossible without the complete withdrawal of Russian troops.
The same position was expressed in Li Hui in Kiev, where the Chinese diplomat visited on May 17. “There is no force today that will force the Ukrainian society and leadership to talk to the Russians – as long as we have Russian troops,” explained Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s office in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to him, it was made clear to the Chinese special envoy that “there will be no territorial compromises.” Kiev presented the same position to the Brazilian delegation, Yermak said.