NewsChina declines peace summit on Ukraine, cites unmet conditions

China declines peace summit on Ukraine, cites unmet conditions

Xi Jijping during the G20 summit in Japan.
Xi Jijping during the G20 summit in Japan.
Images source: © East News | Masanori Genko

3:17 AM EDT, May 31, 2024

China has confirmed it will not attend a Ukraine peace conference to be hosted by Switzerland next month," reports Reuters, citing four sources. "Beijing declined the invitation because the conditions for them to participate were not met, including the participation of both Russia and Ukraine," the report states.

The neutral Swiss government is striving for broad participation from various parts of the world at the June 15–16 summit, which, according to Bern, "will pave the way for the peace process in Ukraine." Moscow was not invited.

This week, China informed diplomats that the unmet conditions include recognition of the conference by both Russia and Ukraine. According to Beijing, all parties should participate equally, and all proposals should be discussed fairly.

Russia suggests summit in China

Beijing supports convening a peace conference recognized by both sides, with equal participation of all parties, said a foreign ministry spokesman on Monday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested on Thursday that China could organize a peace conference in which the conflicting states would participate.

In January, Ukraine invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to participate in Switzerland's planned summit of world leaders. On May 26, President Volodymyr Zelensky renewed the appeal to Xi following a massive attack on a shopping center in Kharkiv.

Against the backdrop of the ruins, Zelensky said the most terrible consequence of the war is the scorched void. "A war that we in Ukraine did not want. That we did not provoke. And in which Ukraine is defending itself against Russia's attempts to seize our resources and territories and destroy our national identity. And the world sees this," he added.

""More than eighty countries confirmed they will come. And we continue to work with the leaders, inviting them to join the Summit. I thank everyone who really helps to bring the peace. And I am appealing to the leaders of the world who are still aside from the global efforts of the Global Peace Summit – to President Biden, the leader of the United States, and to President Xi, the leader of China. We do not want the UN Charter to be burnt… burnt down just like these books. And I hope you don't want either. Please show your leadership in advancing the peace – real peace, not just a pause between the strikes. The efforts of the global majority are the best guarantee that all commitments will be fulfilled. Please support the Peace Summit with your personal leadership and participation," Zelensky appealed on Sunday.

Biden also won't attend?

Zelensky urged US President Joe Biden to come, but Washington has not confirmed who they will send. At that time, Biden is expected to have duties related to the ongoing presidential campaign across the ocean.

The authorities in Kyiv, who do not want to cooperate with Moscow until preliminary rules for a future peace agreement are established, have already expressed disappointment at China's expected absence. China is seen as a key player in negotiations with Russia.

Moscow and Beijing announced a "no-limits" partnership during Vladimir Putin's visit to China in February 2022, a few days before Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The communist authorities of China have not condemned the Kremlin for starting the conflict, oppose the sanctions imposed on Moscow, and are strengthening their economic and military cooperation with it.

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