Fluent Russian speaker Li Hui is essentially the most senior Chinese language official to go to Ukraine since Russia started its full-scale invasion in February 2022.
A prime Chinese language envoy is starting a tour of Europe that may take him first to Ukraine and lastly to Russia, in a visit Beijing says is aimed toward discussing a “political settlement” to the Ukraine disaster.
Li Hui, China’s particular consultant for Eurasian affairs since 2019 and a former ambassador to Russia, may also go to Poland, France and Germany on the multiday journey, the international ministry introduced final week, “for in-depth communications with totally different events for a political settlement of the Ukraine disaster”.
Li, a fluent Russian speaker, is essentially the most senior Chinese language official to go to Ukraine since Russia started its full-scale invasion in February 2022, and his journey might coincide with the beginnings of a long-anticipated counteroffensive by Ukraine to recapture territory seized and occupied by Russia.
The go to comes after Chinese language President Xi Jinping held a cellphone name late final month along with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the primary identified wartime name between the 2 leaders.
Zelenskyy described the hour-long name as “lengthy and significant”, whereas Xi stated China’s “core place is to advertise peace through talks”.
On the primary anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion, China launched a 12-point proposal for peace — China’s Place on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Disaster — that was met with some scepticism in Western capitals given Beijing’s ties with Russia. It urged “either side” to conform to a gradual de-escalation and abandon the “Chilly Struggle mentality”.
Beijing has not explicitly condemned Moscow over the invasion, which got here lower than three weeks after the 2 international locations dedicated to a “no limits” partnership. In March, Xi travelled to Moscow to fulfill Russian President Vladimir Putin when the 2 males signed an settlement to deliver the connection between their two international locations right into a “new period“.
Li has spent his whole diplomatic profession coping with the Soviet Union, Russia and the states that emerged following its fall since becoming a member of the international ministry’s Division of Soviet and East European Affairs in 1975.
For the reason that Xi-Zelenskyy name, a number of European leaders, together with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, have travelled to Beijing and urged China to play a extra lively position in restraining Moscow’s actions.
Kyiv has dominated out the concept of any territorial concessions to Russia and has stated it needs each inch of its land again. Russia invaded after which annexed the Crimean peninsula in 2014 — a transfer broadly condemned on the time — and in September final 12 months, introduced it had annexed 4 different japanese Ukrainian areas.