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Ukraine’s Plea for Peace: China’s Attention Diverted to Gaza Amid Diplomatic Efforts

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President Zelensky is stepping up his attempts to get international backing as Ukraine enters its third year of Russian invasion, with a specific focus on including China in the peace process.

This push was evident during a recent gathering in Davos, Switzerland, where Zelensky and Ukrainian officials sought to engage with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Expressing a desire for China’s involvement in Ukraine’s peace plan, Zelensky emphasized the importance of stronger ties with Beijing. 

While the Ukrainian Foreign Minister echoed this sentiment, suggesting increased contacts at all levels, Zelensky’s chief of staff hinted at the possibility of a sideline meeting with China’s top delegate during the Davos event.

Despite these overtures, Premier Li Qiang left Davos without engaging with Zelensky directly and focused his speech on China’s economic concerns rather than addressing the ongoing conflict.  Analysts note that China, as Russia’s political ally, may be hesitant to exert pressure on Moscow, especially on terms set by Ukraine.

Ukraine Demand Notably Absent

ukraine's-plea-for-peace-china's-attention-diverted-to-gaza-amid-diplomatic-efforts
President Zelensky is stepping up his attempts to get international backing as Ukraine enters its third year of Russian invasion, with a specific focus on including China in the peace process.

While China’s view of its current role in promoting peace differs from Zelensky’s vision, Yun Sun, head of the Stimson Center’s China program, emphasizes China’s opinion of its current role in doing so. 

Last year, China, after initial contact between Xi Jinping and Zelensky, dispatched an envoy to Kyiv and Moscow, presenting its own peace proposal that notably lacked Ukraine’s demand for a prior withdrawal of Russian troops.

Observers suggest that China’s approach at Davos reflects a cautious stance, as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia remains deadlocked. 

With neither side showing signs of relenting and global attention turning to other crises, China seems inclined to adopt a wait-and-see strategy, assessing how battlefield developments may influence future peace negotiations.

The distraction caused by conflicts elsewhere, notably in the Middle East, further diminishes the urgency for China to actively mediate. Analysts argue that China’s evolving stance is influenced by a shifting balance of power, with Russia gaining an upper hand as the United States deals with other global challenges.

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