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Chinese President plans to speak with Zelenskyy

Monday, 13 March 2023, 12:35
Chinese President plans to speak with Zelenskyy

Chinese leader Xi Jinping plans to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the first time since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine, likely after he visits Moscow next week to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Source: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)

Quote from the WSJ: "A direct conversation with Mr Zelenskyy, if it happens, would mark a significant step in Beijing's efforts to play peace-maker in Ukraine, which have so far been met with scepticism in Europe. It would also bolster Beijing's credentials as a global power broker after it facilitated a surprise diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Iran last week."

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Details: The WSJ reported that Xi's meeting with President Zelenskyy might take place virtually.

The WSJ sources said that the Chinese President’s visit to Russia and his possible meeting with Zelenskyy reflect Beijing's desire to play a more active role in facilitating the end of the war in Ukraine.

The WSJ also reported that Xi was considering visiting other European countries following his visit to Russia, though the publication's sources said that the exact schedule has not yet been confirmed.

Background:

  • Reuters reported on 13 March that Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to travel to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin as soon as next week.
  • On 24 February 2023, the Chinese Foreign Ministry published what it called a "peace plan" outlining China's ideas concerning the settlement of Russia's war against Ukraine. The plan includes the following points: "respecting the sovereignty of all countries"; "abandoning the Cold War mentality", and "ceasing hostilities".
  • In December 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he would like to meet the Chinese President in Moscow in 2023.

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