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Envoy: Talks, building trust key to ending Ukraine crisis

By ZHOU JIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-05-19 03:28


China has reaffirmed its stance on a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis and called on various parties to create the conditions for a cease-fire and peace talks, as its special representative on Eurasian affairs Li Hui wrapped up his visit to Kyiv on Wednesday.

During his two-day visit, Li held separate talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and other senior Ukrainian officials.

The two sides agreed to work together to continue the tradition of mutual respect and advance mutually beneficial cooperation.

Li's visit came three weeks after President Xi Jinping told Zelensky that China would send an envoy to Kyiv, during their first telephone conversation since the outbreak of the conflict. Li will also visit Poland, France, Germany and Russia.

"There is no panacea for resolving the crisis. All parties need to do their part to build up mutual trust and create conditions for peace talks and ending the conflict," a Foreign Ministry statement quoted Li as saying.

Li said that China would like to encourage the international community to find the broadest common understanding on the settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and make its contribution to restoring peace.

China has always played a constructive role in alleviating the humanitarian situation in Ukraine in its own way and will continue to provide assistance to the country within its capacity, Li added.

According to the statement, the Ukrainian side said that it attaches great importance to China's role in international affairs as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and welcomes Beijing playing an active role in pushing for ending hostilities and restoring peace.

Ukraine always adheres to the one-China principle and is willing to work together with China to promote the continued and greater development of bilateral relations, the statement said.

On Thursday, in response to the expansion of NATO during the Ukraine crisis, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a news conference that Ukraine should not be turned into the frontier in major power confrontation.

"Under current circumstances, all sides need to remain calm, exercise restraint, and avoid taking any action that might further escalate or complicate the crisis," he added.

Xu Poling, director of the Department of Russian Economy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies, said that Li's visit is an example of China's peaceful diplomacy, demonstrating Beijing's consistent commitment to the peaceful solution of the Ukraine crisis.

It is not so easy to achieve peace but there is always hope, Xu said.

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