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Since the start of the war, China’s Xi has spoken to eight world leaders. Aside from…

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Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Xi Jinping has talked with at least eight international leaders. Over the last month, Zelensky has spoken before at least ten national legislatures, including the Japanese Diet. Volodymyr Zelensky, however, is conspicuously absent from his diplomatic effort.

“China can only advise Russia to try to end the conflict in a dignified manner in order to avoid the last thing Beijing wants: the collapse of Putin’s regime and the emergence of a pro-Western government,” said Chen Shih-Min, an associate professor at National Taiwan University specializing in international security. While Beijing has maintained that it respects Ukraine’s right to self-determination, it has voted against a United Nations court order for Moscow to cease military operations immediately, refused to join a US-led sanctions campaign to isolate Putin’s regime, and framed Washington as the conflict’s “culprit” for encouraging the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s eastward expansion.

China’s envoy to Ukraine reassured Ukrainian leaders that his country was a friendly nation that would never invade Ukraine. In what remains the most senior diplomatic engagement between the two nations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi notified his Ukrainian colleague on March 1 that Beijing was “very disturbed” by the violence. “Russia is attacking us,” Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, said of the statement on Friday.

Biden just authorized a $800 million aid package for Ukraine, in addition to the existing military support. “Beijing is holding that tool in reserve,” Wen-Ti Sung, a lecturer in the Taiwan studies department at Australian National University, said of a potential Xi-Zelensky conversation. “If the world community puts enough pressure on China, it may use that option to cool things down.”

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