Chinese leader Xi reiterates call for Ukraine peace talks, avoids condemning Russia

Chinese leader Xi Jinping reiterated Beijing’s stance that peace talks should be held to end the war in Ukraine during the G20 summit in Bali on Tuesday, according to state media, though he once again stopped short of condemning Russia’s actions.

“Xi stressed that China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is clear and consistent, advocating a ceasefire, a stop to war and peace talks,” said a readout of a bilateral meeting between the Chinese leader and French President Emmanuel Macron published by state broadcaster CCTV.

Some context: Although China has consistently called for an end to hostilities in Ukraine, it has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion. Instead, Beijing has called for the “legitimate security concerns of all parties” to be recognized, while blaming the US and NATO for the conflict.

Beijing and Moscow have become close partners in recent years as both face tensions with the West, with Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin declaring the two countries had a “no-limits” partnership weeks before Russia’s invasion began

So far, Beijing has not provided direct military or financial aid to Moscow that could spark sanctions from Washington. Meanwhile, Chinese state media has previously reported on Xi’s support for international peace talks as a mechanism for ending the war.

In September, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin called on the “relevant parties” in Ukraine to “achieve a ceasefire through dialogue and negotiation.”

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