Zelensky Sends Offer To China

During an interview with the AP, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky extended an another invitation to speak face-to-face with communist China ruler Xi Jinping. 

China is one of Russia’s closest partners internationally and continues high-level contacts with the Russian leadership despite its official declaration of “neutrality” in the crisis. China has a worldwide infrastructure plan called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and Ukraine is a participant. 

Even while Putin revealed that Xi Jinping had voiced “concerns” about Russia’s conduct of its attack during their last face-to-face meeting in September, the Communist Party has maintained at least some kind of contact with the Ukrainian government. China fears the issue has gotten out of hand and urges all parties involved to maintain their composure, practice moderation, and revive peace negotiations as soon as feasible.

China, however, has chosen to keep Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at arm’s length despite his desire to talk.

Zelensky voiced fear that his administration would be pressured to agree on a ceasefire if the Ukrainian military suffered any casualties, especially in the current war for control of the area of Bakhmut. In response to Zelensky’s words, the Chinese Foreign Ministry gave the impression that they were ignorant of such preparations. 

The Kremlin has made an effort to give the impression that it has no say in China’s diplomatic activities concerning Ukraine, but Zelensky’s repeated offers to meet with Xi have been met with silence.

Zelensky had one contact with President Xi Jinping a year ago and expressed his desire that Chinese enterprises would come to Ukraine to assist in the rebuild when the Russian invasion ended.

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska delivered a letter from her husband, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, to the Chinese delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January. The message was addressed to Xi Jinping. The Chinese government never publicly responded to the letter or stated whether or not Xi had seen it. 

John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, emphasized that any potential negotiation can include the Ukrainian perspective if Xi is willing to talk to President Zelensky.