NEGOTIATIONS ARE TAKING place for talks between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Europeans are upbeat. “We very much hope that the phone call will take place as soon as possible,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told CNBC this week.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a supporter of the peace plan, will head to China tomorrow for a week-long visit.
Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez is flying to China next week to discuss the Chinese peace effort.
Nederlands leader Mark Rutte said he had called the Chinese leader on the phone to discuss the plan.
Luxembourg’s leader Xavier Bettel said this week that demonising China is “not right”, and it would be better for Europe to work with China, according to RTL.
At the end of February, Zelensky said he planned to meet the Chinese leader to discuss Chinese proposals on ending the war in Ukraine. No date has been confirmed.
Pope Francis has also declined to support America’s view that a cease fire is “unacceptable”.
China’s peace plan is built on the concept of mutual respect. The plan indicates that it is possible to respect the sovereign borders of nations, while also respecting countries’ security concerns.
Russia co-signed a document with the Chinese leader last week which reinforced these points as a path to an end of the conflict.
Earlier this week, UN secretary-general António Guterres brought EU leaders together at a private meeting in Brussels and told them not to isolate China.
The French, meanwhile, have been trying to play both sides. The country last year followed U.S. orders to increase spending on weapons. But at the Swiss resort of Davos in January, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said France did not support efforts to isolate China. “China cannot be out, China must be in. This is the difference of view we have between the U.S. and Europe,” he told reporters. “We don’t want to oppose China, we want to engage with China.”