Xi urges rational solution to Ukraine conflict.


China’s President Xi Jinping is on his way to Moscow to discuss the Ukraine crisis and promote China as a peacemaker. In an article published in the Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Xi called for a “rational way” out of the crisis and acknowledged that finding a solution would not be easy. He suggested that discussions could be based on China’s 12-point proposal for a political settlement published last month, which he said reflected the views of the global community.

Xi’s visit to Moscow is his first since Russian troops were sent into Ukraine in February 2022. Despite reaffirming its close ties with Russia, China has cast itself as a neutral party in the conflict. Xi has been seeking to present China as a global peacemaker, arguing that a way out of the crisis could be found through dialogue and consultations in an equal, prudent, and pragmatic manner.

Putin has welcomed China’s willingness to play a “constructive role” in ending the conflict in Ukraine and has “high expectations” of Monday’s talks with Xi. He said Sino-Russian relations were “at the highest point”. China has not condemned the war in Ukraine or called it an invasion, although it has criticised international sanctions imposed on Russia and some of its most prominent political and military figures.

Xi may also hold phone discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after his visit to Moscow. Zelenskyy gave qualified support to China’s peace plan when it was released in February, noting the need to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Foreign Minister Qin Gang held a rare phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba last week to urge a political solution, saying China was concerned that the war could spin out of control. Qin urged Ukraine to seek a political solution with Moscow.

In the Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Xi said that his trip to Russia is aimed at strengthening the friendship between the two countries, “an all-encompassing partnership and strategic interaction,” in a world threatened by “acts of hegemony, despotism and bullying”. He emphasized that there is no universal model of government and no world order where the decisive word belongs to a single country. Global solidarity and peace without splits and upheavals are in the common interests of all mankind.