Chinese President Xi Jinping plays peacemaker on Russia visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand. Reuters/File
  • Xi Jinping is playing a greater role for China on the world stage.
  • The West hopes that Xi can tell Putin to stop his attack on Ukraine.
  • Experts believe that the problem of Ukraine will be more difficult than Saudi Iran.

Beijing: President Xi Jinping Hopes for a breakthrough on Ukraine turned to Russia on Monday as China seeks to position itself as a peacemaker.

Freshly reappointed for a third term in power, Xi is playing a bigger role for China on the world stage and was instrumental in brokering a surprise rapprochement between Middle Eastern rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia this month. were

Rumors that he may soon hold his first meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi have raised hopes in Western capitals since the war began that Xi could lean on his “old friend” Putin. A bloody attack During the three-day official visit

Announcing the trip on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China would “play a constructive role in promoting peace talks”.

Wang Yiwei, director of the Beijing Institute of International Affairs, said that everyone wants to stop the war, because Europe has a lot to lose and the United States cannot support Ukraine as long as it thinks it can. can do. Renmin University of China.

“China can present its views from both sides – it can say that it is a reliable friend of both Ukraine and Russia. I think that is very important.”

Beijing, a key Russian ally, has long sought to portray itself as a neutral side in the conflict.

But he has refused to condemn Russia’s attack and has sharply criticized Washington’s support for Kiev – leading Western leaders to accuse Beijing of using Russia to pressure its European neighbour. Providing Diplomatic Corps.

“Beijing has so far done little to encourage peace in Ukraine because any credible effort would have to put pressure on Russia or at least directly invoke Russia,” said Elizabeth Vishnik, a professor and U.S. said a Chinese foreign policy expert at Montclair State University.

Journey to XI – What follows. International Criminal Court (ICC) He announced an arrest warrant for Putin on war crimes charges on Friday — aimed at “revealing the lack of support he can provide to his strategic partner, which has resulted in sanctions.” can”. AFP.

There are eyes on Xi’s proposal to solve the Ukraine problem.

To play a role as a peacemaker, China published a 12-point position paper on the Ukraine war last month, calling for dialogue and respect for the territorial sovereignty of all countries.

Beijing has also emphasized its Global Security Initiative (GSI), a key Xi policy aimed at “promoting sustainable peace and development”.

Both documents have angered the West for dwelling on broad principles rather than practical solutions to the crisis.

Jae Ian Chong, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore, said China’s recent diplomacy over the war served to “highlight” the GSI and “create momentum for its foreign policy and re-engagement with the world”. appears.

“Would you? [China] said Chong, who specializes in Beijing’s international relations.

“His previous peace plan was more about general principles than actionable proposals.”

Chinese arbitration.

Beijing’s efforts to portray itself as an international mediator were front and center this month as it oversaw a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran that restored diplomatic ties.

It later emerged that Xi himself had offered China to act as a “bridge” between his rivals, challenging Washington’s longstanding role as the main external mediator in the Middle East.

“Broking [Saudi-Iran deal] It plays into the Chinese government’s narrative of being a positive global player promoting peace and cooperation that contrasts with Washington’s allegedly destabilizing actions,” said Audrey Wong, assistant professor at the University of Southern California.

Renmin University’s Wang said, citing China’s “limited” influence over Moscow and US support for Kiev, but stopping the firefight in Ukraine would be “somewhat harder” than the Saudi-Iran deal.

He suggested that Beijing could help usher in a “Korean War-style truce” that halts fighting but further downplays questions of territorial sovereignty.

But Vishnik of Montclair State said Ukraine is “unlikely to accept China as a mediator because it is not seen as neutral or neutral”.

“Xi Jinping may be desperate for diplomatic breakthroughs, but I don’t see any on the horizon for Ukraine,” he said.

“Neither side is ready to give up hope yet for territorial gains on the battlefield.”

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