Beijing’s envoy to Europe says Russia must be able to keep the occupied territories if it means a ceasefire, and urged Europe to show autonomy from the US.
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China’s special envoy brought a clear message to Europe for the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine: the European allies must show autonomy in the face of the US position and demand an immediate ceasefire, even if Russia keeps the occupied territories for that. The information is provided by the Wall Street Journal, which cites European diplomats involved in the talks that have been held between Beijing and Europe in recent weeks.
Li Hui, the Chinese envoy who has been meeting with various European leaders in recent weeks, reportedly urged European countries to consider China as a viable alternative to Washington and that Beijing is committed to working to end the war.
However, the message will have been received with mistrust by European officials. Some say it is too soon to rule out China as a viable partner in ending the conflict. but understand that Beijing has shown that it is not an impartial mediator, given the ties it has with Moscow. For Europe, one thing is clear: the continent will remain in tune with the US, and will only accept the start of negotiations when Russian troops withdraw from Ukrainian territory.
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“We explain that freezing the conflict is not in the interest of the international community unless there is a withdrawal of Russian troops.” a diplomat involved in the talks with Li Hui told the Wall Street Journal.
Those responsible assure that “it is impossible to separate Europe from America”, and that the continent will not stop supporting Ukraine, before questioning the real interests of the Chinese diplomatic tour. “They are probably testing the unity of the West and trying to show initiative”.
Oblivious to suspicions coming from the West, China has continued its tour of the European continent to discuss a diplomatic way to end the conflict. After visiting kyiv, Warsaw, Berlin, Paris and Brussels, Li Hui met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday.
The head of Russian diplomacy took the opportunity to criticize Ukraine and the West for the alleged “serious obstacles” that stand in the way of peace.
“The Russian Foreign Minister reaffirmed Moscow’s commitment to a political-diplomatic solution to the conflict, noting the serious obstacles to resuming peace talks created by the Ukrainian side and their Ukrainian mentors”, the Russian ministry said according to the AFP. The Kremlin official also took the opportunity to praise China’s “balanced” position on the invasion.
The meeting between both officials also served to discuss the strengthening of relations between the powers. “Both sides expressed their readiness to further strengthen Russian-Chinese cooperation with a view to maintaining peace and stability in the region and the planet as a whole,” says the Kremlin.