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Zelensky invites China's Xi Jinping to Ukraine
In an interview with the Associated Press published on March 29, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he's inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Ukraine.
"We are ready to see him here," Zelensky told the AP. "I want to speak with him."
The Ukrainian president added that he had spoken to Xi before Russia's full-scale invasion, but during more than a year of the all-out war, the two leaders haven't had contact.
Earlier, Zelensky told the Japan News that he gave "straight messages" through the diplomatic channels that he wanted to speak with China's Xi but didn't get a response.
Ukraine's president first voiced his desire to speak with Xi on Feb. 24 amid reports on Xi's plans to visit Moscow for a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, which China's leader later did.
Zelensky suggested in his AP interview that Putin's recent threat to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus was intended to divert attention from the lack of guarantees he received from Beijing.
"What does it mean? It means the visit was not good for Russia," said Zelensky.
Shortly after Xi's meeting with Putin in Moscow, U.S. President Joe Biden said that despite signs that China is considering stepping up its military support for Russia, the country hasn't so far moved to do so.
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.