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Zelensky accuses China of 'working hard' to stop countries attending global peace summit

by Chris York and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 2, 2024 11:57 AM 2 min read
Zelensky meets EU officials on Nov. 21, 2023. (Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused China of "working hard" to prevent countries from attending Ukraine's global peace summit later this month.

Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore on June 2, Zelensky also expressed disappointment that "some world leaders" would not be present at the event to be held in Switzerland on June 15-16.

Ukraine hopes the summit will address several key areas, such as energy security, the exchange of captives, the return of deported children, global food security, and other topics.

"China, unfortunately, is working hard today to prevent countries from coming to the peace summit," Zelensky said on June 2.

While he said more than 100 countries and international organizations were set to attend, Bloomberg reported on May 23 that U.S. President Joe Biden is likely to miss the peace conference as it clashes with a campaign fundraiser.

China is also reported to have declined an invitation as the terms they required to attend were not met, Reuters reported on May 31, citing several sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

One source said China had insisted the summit should be recognised by both Russia and Ukraine and both countries should participate.

Publicly, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that attending would be "difficult."

"The arrangement of the meeting still falls short of China's requirements and the expectations of the international community, making it difficult for China to attend," said Mao Ning, the ministry's spokesperson.

"We are very sorry that the Chinese side does not use the opportunity to present its position on the platform of the summit in Switzerland," a spokesperson of the Ukrainian embassy in Beijing told Reuters.

Russia was not invited to the talks, but the Swiss hosts said that Moscow's representatives will have to take part in the process "sooner or later."

Kyiv has warned that Russia is attempting to disrupt the summit.

Speaking on May 16 at a press conference during Russian President Vladimir Putin's two-day visit to China, Chinese President Xi Jinping claimed both leaders agreed that a "political solution" to the war in Ukraine is "the correct direction."

‘Very good’ meeting with US defense secretary in Singapore, Zelensky says
President Volodymyr Zelensky said he had a “very good” meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore on June 2.

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