China Hesitant to Attend Ukraine Peace Conference Without Russia

Fri May 31 2024
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BEIJING, China: China expressed reservations on Friday about participating in a planned peace conference on the war in Ukraine next month if Russia is not involved.

Despite China’s claims of neutrality in the conflict, it has faced criticism for not condemning Russia’s actions.

Ukraine is striving to gather international support for its peace terms at the June conference in Switzerland. While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has encouraged China to attend, Beijing insists that Russia’s participation is essential.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, emphasized that the conference should involve Russia and Ukraine equally and facilitate fair discussions of all peace plans. “Otherwise, it is difficult for the conference to play a substantive role in restoring peace,” Mao stated. She added that the current meeting arrangements fall short of China’s requirements and international expectations, making China’s participation unlikely.

Russia has dismissed the idea of a peace summit excluding it as “absurd.”

During the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Friday, China’s top defence official reiterated Beijing’s impartial stance on the Ukraine conflict. A spokesman for the Chinese delegation, Wu Qian, affirmed that China has honored its commitment not to supply weapons to either side of the conflict and has imposed strict controls on military exports.

Wu also stated that China would continue to promote peace talks and play a constructive role but firmly opposed the United States’ attempts to shift blame onto China. He emphasized that China would persist in its efforts to facilitate dialogue and negotiations while maintaining its objective and impartial position.

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