Chinese envoy to commence 'peace tour' to Ukraine, Russia & Europe
Beijing confirmed in April the dispatch of Li Hui, the Chinese Government's Special Representative on Eurasian Affairs, to Kiev and other European nations for negotiations for a "political settlement of the Ukraine crisis."
After a phone conversation between Xi Jinping and Volodymyr Zelensky in April, China announced it would send a Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, to Ukraine and other European nations.
Li Hui, China's special envoy for Eurasian issues, is embarking on a tour of five nations, including Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Germany, and France.
In February, China released a 12-point document entitled "China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis," which underscores respect for the sovereignty of all countries, the cessation of hostilities, and the resumption of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that some of the provisions of the plan could be a basis for a peace settlement "if the West and Kiev are ready for it."
Moscow noted Beijing's willingness to initiate a negotiation process at the time, but emphasized that Kiev continues to reject "any sensible initiatives aimed at a political and diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, and eventual agreement to negotiations," dictating ultimatums with "deliberately unrealistic demands."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing on Friday that "the visit of Chinese representatives to relevant countries is another demonstration of China’s commitment to promoting peace and talks. It fully demonstrates that China is firmly on the side of peace."
Read next: 'Invisible hand' prolonging Ukraine war for geopolitical gains: China
Although no schedule was given by the department, it did emphasize that China is "willing to continue to play a constructive role in building more international consensus on a ceasefire, initiation of peace talks, and preventing the situation from escalating ... to promote a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”
Media reports indicate that Li will make his first stop in Ukraine.
Li will be the highest-ranking Chinese official to meet with Ukrainian officials since the start of the war in 2022. Beijing's 12-point plan for a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine problem is at the center of Li's speech on his shuttle visit. China is serious about becoming a major diplomatic player, and has called for the resumption of peace talks between Kiev and Moscow, the safeguarding of nuclear power plants and the reduction of strategic risks, the end of unilateral sanctions, and the abandonment of the Cold War mentality, and the promotion of post-conflict reconstruction in Ukraine.
The envoy's tour comes amid concerns of an impending Ukraine "counteroffensive." The much-touted "onslaught" would be carried out using weapons worth billions of dollars donated by Washington and NATO partners to Kiev. The West is now said to be expecting Ukraine to deliver a victory, while the nations that the Chinese top envoy is expected to visit – France, Germany, and Poland – are major sources of arms and financial aid to Ukraine.