Chinese President Jinping dials embattled Zelenskyy; appeals for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine

Image Source : AP Xi Jinping holds talks with Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping held a long-anticipated conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on a phone call on Wednesday. This was the first time the two leaders have spoken since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. The phone call between the two leaders came after Beijing said it wanted to act as a peace mediator. Xi appealed for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, warning that “there is no winner in a nuclear war,” state media said.

China to send special representatives to Ukraine

China will send special representatives to Ukraine to hold talks for a possible “political settlement, said a government statement reported by state TV. China has tried to appear neutral in the war but refused to criticise Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement before the February 2020 invasion saying their governments had a “no limits friendship.” Xi’s government released a peace proposal in February and called for a cease-fire and talks.

‘No winner in a nuclear war’

“Negotiation is the only viable way out,” state TV said in a report on Xi’s comments to Zelenskyy. “There is no winner in a nuclear war,” the report said. “All parties concerned should remain calm and restrained in dealing with the nuclear issue and truly look at the future and destiny of themselves and humanity as a whole and work together to manage the crisis.

Zelenskyy’s reaction to talks with Chinese President

Zelenskyy said that he believes that this call will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations. “I had a long and meaningful phone call with President Xi Jinping. I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine’s ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, Zelenskyy had said in February that China’s plan was not a peace proposal. “I believe only a state on whose territory the war is taking place can do that. Ukraine had its own 10-point plan to end the conflict. I want to believe that China is going to side with the idea of peace and fairness, which is our side.”

(With AP inputs)

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