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China lobbying for its alternative peace plan ahead of Ukraine's summit, Reuters reports

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 13, 2024 5:45 PM 2 min read
Photo for illustrative purposes. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Oct. 23, 2022 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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Beijing, skipping Ukraine's peace summit, has been pushing its alternative peace plan ahead of the upcoming event in Switzerland, Reuters reported on June 13, citing undisclosed diplomatic sources.

The Chinese proposal is presented as an alternative to President Volodymyr Zelensky's peace plan, which is backed by Kyiv's Western partners and will be discussed on June 15-16 in the Burgenstock resort.

Zelensky's 10-point peace formula, a plan first outlined in the fall of 2022, calls for a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, punishing those responsible for war crimes, and the release of all prisoners, among other goals.

Ten diplomats confirmed for Reuters China's efforts to lobby for its plan, while one of them called China's campaign a "subtle boycott" of the summit.

Ukraine invited China to the peace summit back in January, but Beijing indicated it would not attend.

The Chinese government said its required terms for attending were not met, as not both warring countries would participate. Russia has not been invited to the summit.

After Beijing signaled its refusal to participate, Zelensky accused China of "working hard" to prevent countries from attending the summit.

In conversations with developing nations, China has not overtly criticized Ukraine's summit or directly asked countries to abstain, Reuters reported, citing the Beijing-based diplomats.

But one of the undisclosed diplomatic sources said Beijing told developing nations the meeting "would prolong the war," while two other sources said China has been telling Western nations that many developing countries are "aligned with its views on the conference."

Before the summit, China had increased meetings, phone calls, and messages via the Chinese platform WeChat with foreign officials, the diplomats said.

Last month, Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui visited Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He met officials of developing countries at their embassies in Beijing as well, according to the undisclosed sources.

While explaining why it will not attend the summit, Beijing has also been trying to enlist developing nations to join its six-point peace plan, which China and Brazil laid out in May. The alternative peace plan called for an international conference recognized by both Ukraine and Russia.

At least 26 nations have agreed to or are seeking ways to join the conference Beijing suggested, while 45 countries supported the ideas presented in the alternative plan, according to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

As China is reportedly lobbying for its alternative peace plan, the number of participants in Ukraine's peace summit has decreased. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported on June 11 that the number of attendees dropped from 93 to 78.

Explainer: What is the global peace summit in Switzerland, and what does Ukraine hope to achieve?
Well into the third year of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine is looking to strengthen international support for its peace plan at the upcoming global peace summit on June 15-16. While Russia has not been invited to the summit and has dismissed Ukraine’s plan outright, so far 107 countries

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