Western countries are increasing calls for Chinese mediation on the war in Ukraine, while Beijing is getting closer week after week to Moscow. According to a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry, it is Berlin’s turn to encourage China to side with the attacked country. The German government has asked Chinese envoy Li Hui to “pressure” Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine, he said on Friday.
The Chinese envoy, who is on a one-week European tour and is expected in Moscow on Friday, was received in Berlin on Wednesday by State Secretary Andreas Michaelis. “The exchange on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine was at the center of this intensive interview,” said a spokesman for the ministry, Christian Wagner, during a regular press conference.
“China should use its influence”
“China, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has a special responsibility to play a constructive role in favor of peace and security in the world”, estimated this spokesperson, recalling that Berlin “would support Ukraine as long as necessary” against Moscow.
“Germany has also asked China to put pressure on Russia to immediately cease its attack and withdraw completely from Ukraine,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “China should also use its influence on Russia to end its irresponsible nuclear rhetoric and prevent any escalation,” he said.
The evocation of arms deliveries
“The Secretary of State expressed the expectation that China clearly point to and condemn Russia’s aggression and refrain from supporting it with [des livraisons d’] weapons,” said Christian Wagner. “Both sides agreed to continue the exchange on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine,” he concluded.
Li Hui, who was China’s ambassador to the Russian capital, has been touring Europe for a week. He spent two days in kyiv, one day in Poland and was in France on Tuesday. Russia and China maintain close relations which have been strengthened economically and diplomatically since the launch of the Russian offensive in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 and the rain of Western sanctions that hit the Russian economy. Beijing has also made a point of not condemning the Russian assault on their Ukrainian neighbors.