Xi to world powers: Help Russia-Ukraine talks

Xi to world powers: Help Russia-Ukraine talks
LEADERS. In this picture issued by the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Press Office, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before a meeting in Beijing, China on Monday, July 8, 2024. / MTI VIA AP

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Chinese President Xi Jinping called on world powers to help Russia and Ukraine resume direct dialogue during a meeting Monday with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, state broadcaster reported.

Orbán made a surprise visit to China after similar trips last week to Russia and Ukraine to discuss prospects for a peaceful settlement of more than the two-year war. Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union this month and Orbán has since embarked on a peace mission, which, however, lacks the endorsement of other European leaders.

“China is a key power in creating the conditions for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war,” Orbán wrote on the social media platform X. “This is why I came to meet with President Xi in Beijing, just two months after his official visit to Budapest.”

“Peace mission 3.0” is how the prime minister captioned a picture posted on X as he touched down in Beijing.

During his meeting with Xi, Orbán described China as a stabilizing force amid global turbulence and praised its “constructive and important” peace initiatives.

Peace plan

China has been promoting its own six-point peace plan, which it issued with Brazil in May. Beijing says it is neutral in the conflict, though in practice it supports Moscow through frequent state visits, growing trade and joint military drills.

While hosting Orbán, Xi called on Russia and Ukraine to cease fire and on other major powers to create an environment conducive to talks. Only when all major powers project “positive energy rather than negative energy” can a cease-fire occur, Xi said, according to CCTV.

Xi’s European tour

Orbán hosted the Chinese leader in Hungary only two months ago as part of a three-country European tour that also included stops in France and Serbia, which unlike the other two, is not a member of the European Union or North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

During the trip, China upgraded its ties with Hungary to an “all-weather, comprehensive strategic partnership,” one of its highest designations for foreign relations that in addition to Hungary applies only to Belarus, Pakistan and Venezuela. / AP

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