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China urges peace in Ukraine after US warns against aiding Russia

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KYIV: China said on Monday it sought dialogue and a peaceful solution for Ukraine despite US warnings that Beijing might be considering weapons supplies for its ally Russia’s invasion.

Air-raid sirens blared in the capital Kyiv and other cities overnight and a Russian missile killed one person in the western town of Khmelnitskyi, Mayor Oleksandr Symshyshyn said on the Telegram messaging app. The all-clear sounded after daybreak.

China, which declared a “no limits” alliance with Russia shortly before the invasion a year ago, has refused to condemn the onslaught and last week published a 12-point plan calling for a ceasefire and gradual de-escalation by both sides.

Kyiv struck a receptive tone on some aspects of the plan while reiterating there could be no peace without a total Russian withdrawal — a non-starter for Moscow.

“I really want (victory) to happen this year. For this we have everything motivation, confidence, friends, diplomacy,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in a post on the Telegram messaging app on Monday. China’s foreign ministry said it had kept contact with all sides in the crisis including Kyiv and its position was clear.

“The core is to call for peace and promote dialogue and promote a political solution to the crisis,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a news briefing in Beijing.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday the Chinese plan should be analysed in detail and account for the interests of all sides, but for now Moscow saw no signs suggesting a peaceful resolution was feasible.

“We are paying a great deal of attention to the plan of our Chinese friends … This is a very long and intense process,” Peskov told reporters.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2023


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