Russia-Ukraine War: China, which has been projecting itself as a mediator of the peace agreement, has sent its top envoy to war-torn Ukraine intending to persuade President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to negotiate with Russia on "Moscow terms".
However, Ukraine, which has been facing intense Russian aggression in the Odesa region, declined to entertain Beijing's negotiation plans, saying, "Peace depended on respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine".
The critical stand of Ukraine came as Chinese special envoy Li Hui met several officials of Kyiv including President Zelenskyy and foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba after landing on Tuesday.
Ukraine will deal with its principles
According to the news agency Associated Press, Kuleba briefed Li, a former Chinese ambassador to Moscow, “about the principles of restoring a stable and just peace based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
According to the statement, Kuleba repeated his government's position that Ukraine wouldn't accept any proposal involving the loss of its territories or the “freezing of the conflict.
Notably, the visit of Chinese officials came nearly three days after Zelenskyy and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a telephone conversation. However, it was not immediately known whether both leaders discussed any peace plans.
Interestingly, Beijing released a proposed peace plan in February, but Ukraine's allies largely dismissed it, insisting that Russian President Vladimir Putin must withdraw his forces. Zelenskyy's own 10-point peace plan also includes a tribunal to prosecute war crimes committed by Russia. Meanwhile, an official told AFP that Kyiv had warned that Ukraine did not need “mediation for the sake of mediation”.
“Ending the war with a compromise at the expense of Ukraine will not work,” a senior Ukrainian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the news agency.