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China's participation in the Saudia Arabia peace talks could signal a shift in Beijing's allegiance, experts told journalists from Reuters.
Shen Dingli, an international relations scholar based in Shanghai, told Reuters that China needs to engage in international peace efforts because Russia is "bound to be defeated."
The international talks, held in Jeddah Aug. 5-6, brought together 40 countries to discuss Ukraine's path to peace. Although China refused to join a similar summit in Cophenhagen in June, Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui represented Beijing at the Jeddah talks.
Russia was not invited to participate.
The Financial Times reported that Ukrainian allies welcomed China's move, viewing it as a shift away from Moscow's interests and toward Kyiv's.
An unnamed European official told the Financial Times that China "actively participated" in the forum and was "positive" about another meeting of its kind.
"Beijing will not want to be absent from other credible peace initiatives that are led by non-Western countries," Yun Sun, director of the China program at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington, told Reuters.
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told the news outlet Interfax-Ukraine that Hui's attendance in Jeddah was "a historic victory."