Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky by phone on Wednesday, the first known call between the two leaders since the start of Russia’s invasion. The call, initiated by Kyiv, lasted nearly one-hour, and reportedly included President Xi advocating for peace negotiations, and was met by Russian accusations that Ukraine was undermining efforts to end the fighting.
Beijing says it is neutral in the Ukraine conflict and Xi has never condemned the Russian invasion, but the Chinese leader has come under increased pressure from Western nations to step in and mediate.
Writing about the phonecall on Twitter, President Zelensky says he had a long and meaningful phone call with President Xi Jinping, and he believes the call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine’s ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of both country’s bilateral relations.
Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV, reports that during the call, President Xi told President Zelensky that talks and negotiation were the only way out of the war.
CCTV also reports President Xi saying as far as the issue of the Ukraine crisis is concerned, China has always stood on the side of peace and its core position is to promote peace talks.
The Chinese President, according to CCTV, is also reported to have said China will neither watch the fire from the other side, nor add fuel to the fire, let alone take advantage of the crisis to profit.
China also says it will send a delegation and a special representative of its government to Ukraine with the aim of finding a political settlement to the conflict.