Beijing, Jun 2 (EFE).- China’s special envoy to Europe admitted Friday that it will be “difficult” to convince Moscow and Kyiv to sit down for peace talks.
Li Hui was giving a press conference at the conclusion of his tour of Europe, which saw him visit Russia, Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Belgium, to discuss ways to end the war in Ukraine.
“It’s going to be difficult for them to come to the table. But it is important for someone to take the initiative to create the conditions for a settlement, and China is prepared to do what is necessary to promote negotiations,” Li said, adding that Beijing has always been “objective” and in favor of a halt to hostilities.
“The tour has also shown that China is on the side of peace. It is a complex crisis. China did not start this crisis or fuel it, and its goal is for a settlement to be reached,” Li said.
Unlike most Western countries, Beijing has so far refused to explicitly condemn or rebuke Russia for invading its smaller neighbor, saying Moscow has “legitimate” security concerns, while also defending Ukraine’s “territorial integrity”.
“China’s position is objective and fair, no matter who we talk to, and it has the support of the international community,” Li said.
According to Li, the Ukrainian side “supports” and “appreciates” China’s efforts, while “there is an understanding” among European nations to oppose the use of nuclear weapons.
“But the conflict continues to escalate and the uncertainty is a matter of concern. A climate for peace is needed to prevent the crisis from expanding and it is difficult, but China will continue to make efforts,” he said.
“The crisis can only be solved through dialogue. And everyone supports a settlement, but now it is difficult for the parties to come to the table. But no one has closed the door to peace talks,” he added.
On May 18 in Kyiv, the Chinese special envoy had said that “all parties have to create conditions to end the war” and “start peace talks”.
Earlier this year, Beijing submitted a detailed 12-point peace plan that was met with skepticism by Ukraine and its Western allies.
Ukraine has insisted that it will not accept a proposal that entails the loss of any of its territory. EFE