Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday he had a “long and meaningful” conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, their first since Russia invaded Ukraine. Photo of the Press Office of the President of Ukraine/UPI License photo
April 26 (UPI) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he spoke by phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday, their first conversation since Russia invaded Ukraine.
“I had a long and meaningful phone conversation with President Xi Jinping. Zelensky tweeted Wednesday morning. “I believe that this invitation, like the appointment of the Ukrainian ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations.”
China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it would send a special envoy to Ukraine for further discussions on the war.
“As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible major country, China would not sit back, add fuel to the fire, let alone take advantage of the situation,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. “Everything China does is overboard. Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable way forward. There are no winners in nuclear wars.”
In March, Xi met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where they issued a joint statement urging all countries to “respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries.”
But after China announced a 12-point peace plan on the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, Xi stopped short of calling on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine.
After meeting Xi in Beijing in April, French President Emmanuel Macron said he believed China could play a key role in securing peace.
On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning dismissed comments by China’s ambassador to France, Lu Shaye, questioning the status of former Soviet republics including Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia in international law.
“Our position on the issue of territorial integrity is consistent and clear. China respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries and adheres to the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter,” she said.