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CNN: White House 'welcomes' Zelensky-Xi call, expresses caution regarding Chinese peace plan

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 26, 2023 7:31 PM 2 min read
John Kirby, White House national security council spokesperson, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 21, 2023. (Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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While U.S. officials welcomed the April 26 phone call between President Volodymyr Zelensky and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, they also expressed caution regarding whether it will lead to a "meaningful peace movement," CNN reported.

"We welcome the news that there was a phone call between President Xi and President Zelensky. We think that’s a good thing," White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said, as quoted by CNN.

However, Kirby also said, "whether that’s gonna lead to some sort of meaningful peace movement or plan or proposal, I just don’t think we know that right now."

According to Kirby, the U.S. has been saying "for quite some time" that "it’s important for President Xi and PRC officials to avail themselves of the Ukrainian perspective on this illegal and unprovoked invasion by Russia."

Kirby reiterated that any peace plan won't be "sustainable or credible unless the Ukrainians and President Zelensky personally are invested and supportive of it."

The White House had no knowledge in advance of the call but would not expect to, Kirby added.

Zelensky talked with Xi Jinping on April 26 for the first time since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine began.

Zelensky repeatedly said he wanted to talk to Xi, inviting him to visit Ukraine just days after the Chinese president traveled to Moscow for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in late March.

China has publicly taken a neutral stance on the war, with Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang saying on April 14 that his country wouldn't sell weaponry to either the Ukrainian or Russian sides.

China released a 12-point "peace plan" on the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, it was criticized by many of Ukraine's Western allies for failing to explicitly call for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

China has so far refused to condemn Russia's aggression against Ukraine and annexation of Ukrainian territories, which is at odds with respect for international law and sovereignty outlined in the plan.

Timothy Ash: Is China serious about peace?
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. Over the past month, we have seen a sudden, and somewhat surprising, volte-face by China in terms of its approach to Russia’s
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