Lukashenko to land in China for 3-day visit

Beijing, Feb 28 (EFE).- Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko was on Tuesday set to arrive in China for a three-day visit during which he is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, days after Beijing unveiled a document advocating a “political solution” to the Ukraine conflict.

Lukashenko set off on Tuesday morning from Belarus in a plane headed to China, Belarussian state media reported.

Meanwhile the Chinese foreign ministry said on Monday that Beijing and Minsk had strong mutual political trust and growing coordination in international and regional affairs.

Xi and Lukashenko had met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in September, the Chinese spokesperson recalled, adding that the two leaders had laid down a roadmap for bilateral ties.

Lukashenko’s visit comes after Beijing unveiled a document on Feb. 24 with a 12-point presentation for a “political solution” to the Ukraine crisis, stressing the need for dialog and negotiations.

On the same day, the Belarussian and Chinese foreign ministers Sergei Aleinik and Qin Gang held a phone call, jointly backing peace talks with Ukraine as the only way to resolve the conflict.

Chinese state daily Global Times said in an editorial on Tuesday that “China and Belarus support peacefully dissolving conflicts through diplomatic means. If the two countries strengthen communication on the Ukraine issue, it will obviously be helpful to resolve the crisis, rather than adding fuel to it like some major powers have done.”

In January 2021, marking the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties between China and Belarus, their leaders issued a message of “indestructible” political trust with each other.

Increasingly isolated from Europe and the rest of the West for its authoritarian government and policies towards migrants, Lukashenko’s government has moved closer to allies such as Beijing and Moscow in recent times.

During the SCO summit in Samarkand, Belarus sought to be included in the regional bloc, sometimes dubbed the “eastern NATO,” despite being a European nation.

China has maintained an ambiguous position since the beginning of the Ukraine war, calling for respecting the “territorial integrity of all countries” including Ukraine, while also backing the “legitimate concerns” of Russia. EFE


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