‘No simple solution to a complex issue’, Xi Jinping says on Ukraine
Xi’s visit, between March 20 and 22, comes just days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Putin for war crimes, and is also a sign of Beijing’s soaring diplomatic ambitions in the region and beyond
Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping called for “rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation” to find a “reasonable way” to end the Ukraine war while acknowledging there’s no “simple solution” to the problem ahead of his Moscow visit, beginning Monday, which is set to bolster Sino-Russian ties and expected to be shot in the arm for isolated Russian President Vladimir Putin.
It is expected to be a show of China-Russia solidarity against what the two countries perceive and portrary as US-led Western hegemony and bloc-confrontation.
Xi’s visit, between March 20 and 22, comes just days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) indicted Putin for war crimes, and is also a sign of Beijing’s soaring diplomatic ambitions in the region and beyond.
It will be President Xi’s ninth visit to Russia and his first since becoming a president for a norm-breaking third time earlier this month; overall, Xi and Putin have met 40 times in the last decade.
There’s intense speculation about Xi’s meeting with Putin and the possible outcome related to the Ukraine war including, according to western media reports, a phone conversation with Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In an article published in the Russian government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Xi praised China’s deepening ties with Russia across trade and diplomacy, which he wrote were “not aligned, not confrontational and not targetting third parties”.
“There is no simple solution to a complex issue,” Xi wrote, adding: “We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis…”
“Since last year, there has been an all-round escalation of the Ukraine crisis,” Xi wrote.
Xi also referred to Beijing’s 12-point proposal for a political settlement of the Ukraine war published in February, saying, according to the official English translation of the article, it “takes into account the legitimate concerns of all parties and reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis”
Despite China’s all-round efforts to push the proposal and claim that it reflects a broad consensus, it received lukewarm response in the West – especially because China, because of its “no limits” friendship with Russia, is not seen as a neutral player.
China has so far refused to call the war an “invasion”, blaming the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for provoking Moscow’s violence.
Separately, Putin also published a signed article in Chinese state media, heaping praise on China and slamming the West.
Putin said he had high hopes for the visit by his “good old friend” Xi.
“We have high expectations for the upcoming talks. We have no doubt that they will give a new powerful impetus to our bilateral cooperation in its entirety. This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with my good old friend with whom we enjoy the warmest relationship,” Putin wrote, according to an English version of the article, published by the Kremlin.
“We are grateful for the balanced line ... in connection with the events taking place in Ukraine, for understanding their background and true causes. We welcome China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis,” Putin wrote.
“Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis,” he wrote.
“The crisis in Ukraine, which was provoked and is being diligently fuelled by the West, is the most striking, yet not the only, manifestation of its desire to retain its international dominance and preserve the unipolar world order,” Putin wrote