Xi’s Call with Zelenskyy Demonstrates Responsibility of a Major Country

Illustration: Liu Rui/Global Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the phone at the invitation of the latter on Wednesday afternoon. The two sides exchanged views on China-Ukraine relations and the Ukraine crisis. Xi pointed out that China’s readiness to develop relations with Ukraine is consistent and clear-cut. Regarding the Ukraine crisis, Xi reiterated China’s consistent position and proposition, stating that China will send the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs to Ukraine and other countries to have in-depth communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Zelenskyy welcomed China to play an important role in restoring peace and resolving the Ukraine crisis through diplomatic means. He also noted on social media platform that the talk was long and meaningful, which will strongly promote the development of bilateral relations.

From this conversation, it is not hard to see that China’s position and attitude toward China-Ukraine ties and the Ukraine crisis have been consistent. First of all, “China’s willingness to develop China-Ukraine relations” and “mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries” have not changed due to the full-scale escalation of the Ukraine crisis. Second, China’s core position of urging peace and talks in the Ukraine crisis has remained unchanged. China takes a visionary and pragmatic attitude toward this issue and demonstrates strong stability and continuity, which has increasingly clear and loud echoes in the world.

This conversation is also the latest effort by China to push for a ceasefire and the restoration of peace as soon as possible. Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China’s efforts to promote a political resolution of the Ukraine crisis have never stopped. After the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, President Xi successively proposed four points about what must be done, four things the international community must do together and three observations. On this basis, China has also issued a position paper titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.” At the same time, China maintains good communication with all parties, including Russia and Ukraine, as well as European powers including France, Germany, and Italy. There are even communications with the US side, and other emerging powers such as Brazil, which are committed to promoting peaceful resolution of the conflict. Among these efforts, head-of-state diplomacy has played a significant guiding and driving role.

Different from the “duel” approach advocated by some in the US and the West, China provides a different path full of Eastern wisdom. It sees the Ukraine crisis as a complex and difficult-to-untangle web, but not all of the knots are dead ones. It is possible to slowly untangle the knots one by one, and ultimately achieve a comprehensive “escape” from the crisis. Gradually decomposing complex contradictions, patiently and steadily reaching the core of the problem requires enormous political wisdom, patience, and perseverance, but it is also the best solution that people can currently see. In fact, as time goes by, many countries, including Russia and Ukraine, as well as others in Europe, have gradually recognized or partially accepted China’s proposed solution. There is also an increasing number of voices within the US that are saying, “The world should listen to China’s voice.”

China is neither the creator of the Ukraine crisis, nor a party to it. However, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a responsible major power, China’s desire to promote a political solution to the Ukraine crisis is sincere and selfless. China has always firmly stood on the side of peace, dialogue, and the right side of history. This can withstand the test of facts and history, and represents the power of people’s will. Now, both Russia and Ukraine have welcomed China’s efforts to promote peace and talks, and European powers such as France and Germany, as well as EU leaders, also expect that China will play a greater role in promoting peace and talks. After the call between the leaders of China and Ukraine, the White House also expressed its welcome to the call and said it is “good thing.” This further highlights the special value of China’s efforts in the current complex and ever-changing situation in Ukraine. China is able to communicate directly with all parties involved, seek consensus, and receive positive responses, precisely because China has always adhered to an objective and fair position and demonstrated its role and responsibility as a major power. This role and influence cannot be replaced in today’s world.

Since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict over a year ago, the world has suffered a great deal of shock. As time goes by, the international community has engaged in more cool reflection on this hot conflict. Especially, the willingness to negotiate among all parties is rising, and more rational voices are emerging in various European countries. In a sense, the window of opportunity for promoting a political solution to the Ukraine crisis has emerged. Now it is important to seize the opportunity and accumulate energy to jointly open the door of peace for the international community. Compared to simply adding fuel to the fire, the Chinese side believes that there is no simple solution to complex problems, and dialogue and negotiation are the only feasible way out. Seeking long-term peace and stability for Europe through dialogue is the fundamental way out. What is even more encouraging is that this position is gaining more support, and the forces urging peace ad talks are constantly growing.

It should be noted that since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the US and Western public opinion has thrown a lot of mud on China, even creating rumors in an attempt to drag China down. But a clean hand wants no washing. As time goes by, those accusations are self-defeating, and the image of China as a peaceful builder is becoming clearer and clearer. Both Russia and Ukraine can see this, so can other countries and the international community. Justice will prevail.

Global Times, where this article was first published, takes great pains to present facts and views that could help the readers better understand China. Read other articles by Global Times, or visit Global Times's website.