China’s new man in Brussels admits his country faces a “dilemma” over ongoing bitter war in Ukraine

China’s new man in Brussels admits his country faces a “dilemma” over ongoing bitter war in Ukraine

He gave a keynote speech to a group of businessmen and women in Brussels but did not shy away from speaking about the Ukraine conflict.

The ambassador admitted China faces a dilemma because “we enjoy good relations with both Russia and Ukraine.”

But he called for an “immediate” end to hostilities, saying a ceasefire was the only way to resolve the war.

His comments came just head of what many see as a crunch visit to Russia this week by China’s President Xi Jinping who is in Moscow for a two-day visit and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It is Xi’s first visit to Russia since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in 2022 – he’s due to have lunch with Putin later, and hold formal talks on Tuesday.

Ukraine is expected to be a key point of discussion during Xi’s three-day visit, which will be closely watched for any potential impact on a bitter conflict. The trip is taking place days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Putin for an alleged war crime.

Beijing has described it as a trip “for friendship and peace”, with Russia saying the leaders will discuss a “comprehensive partnership and strategic co-operation.”

Last month Beijing offered proposals to end the war in Ukraine, to which the West has given a lukewarm reception.

In his speech last week, Ambassador Fu Cong told his Belgian audience that China was ready “to help facilitate peace” in Ukraine.

In an event organised by the Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCECC) he told the assembled business representative it was vital though for each side “to respect each other’s territorial integrity and security concerns.”

He said, “I understand there are high emotions on both sides but people need to have cool heads right now – this must be the thing that prevails.

“We will do whatever it takes to help facilitate peace but it seems certain others nations, including some in Europe, appear unwilling to support negotiations.”

He added, “It is very sad what is happening. People’s lives are being lost senselessly. That is why the most important right now is and to the fighting and killing. What is happening on the ground causes grave concern and there is therefore an urgent need for a ceasefire and negotiates to resolve this.”

He added, “The most important player in all this is the United States and I urge all sides, including the U.S and EU, to work for peace in Ukraine.”

“The voice of reason must prevail.”

On arrival in Moscow on Monday, Xi said, “I am confident the visit will be fruitful and give new momentum to the healthy and stable development of Chinese-Russian relations”

He also reportedly described the two countries as “reliable partners”.

Officially Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is to promote bilateral ties between two neighbours – “good neighbours”, as described by Xi himself when he landed in Moscow.

At a press conference, convened as Xi Jinping was making his way to Russia, Wang was asked about reports that Chinese ammunition has been used by Russia in Ukraine.

He took the opportunity to remind reporters that it was the US, not China, suppling weapons to battlefields in Ukraine. “The US side should stop fuelling the fires and fanning the flames… and play a constructive role for a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine, not the other way around,” he said.

China has denied any plan to send weapons, and criticised the West for its weapon supplies to Ukraine.

Less than a month ago China published a 12-point peace plan in an attempt to resolve the war in Ukraine, calling for peace talks and respect for national sovereignty.

But the document does not specifically say that Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine, and it also condemns the usage of “unilateral sanctions”, in what is seen as a veiled criticism of Ukraine’s allies in the West.


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