Illustration photo – Top Chinese diplomat Wang I at the Munich Security Conference, February 18, 2023.
Moscow – High-ranking Chinese diplomat Wang Yi arrived in Moscow with the aim of increasing Beijing's role in settling the conflict in Ukraine, the Russian newspaper Kommersant wrote on Sunday evening. The Reuters agency reported this morning, citing its source, that a diplomat is expected in Moscow in the near future, but that he has not yet arrived and is in Budapest.
Chinese diplomacy spokesman Wang Wen-pin said at the weekend that a top Chinese diplomat would discuss “the development of China-Russia relations in a new stage as well as pressing international and regional issues of common interest” in Moscow. According to Kommersant, the spokesman also said that Beijing intends to jointly defend the interests of both countries with Moscow and play a positive role in ensuring world peace.
At a conference in Munich over the weekend, Wang I said that China has a peaceful plan to resolve the war in Ukraine, which will be presented on the occasion of the approaching anniversary of the war, Kommersant recalled. Russia invaded Ukraine last year on February 24.
He also spoke about the need for peace during his meeting today with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. “Together we will announce to the world that China and Hungary will work together with other peace-loving countries to put an end to the current violence as soon as possible,” Reuters quoted him as saying from a meeting with the Hungarian minister. Hungary is criticized in Europe for its overly accommodating attitude towards Russia and restraint in anti-Russian sanctions.
The Kremlin said today, according to Reuters, that it will have many topics for discussion with Wang I. In an interview with Die Welt, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, on the other hand, called on China not to side with Russia. “If China unites with Russia, there will be a world war,” Zelensky said. He added that Ukraine would like to have China on its side, although he believes that this is currently not possible.
Wang I recently visited France, Italy, Hungary and Germany during his trip to Europe. where he spoke at the Munich Security Conference. There he also met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This meeting, according to Kommersant, did not give any hope that there could be an improvement in the strained US-Chinese relations.