What does Xi Jinping’s conversation with Zelensky mean: There could be only one topic
After Xi Jinping’s conversation with Zelensky, China will send a delegation to Ukraine
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Chinese President Xi Jinping had a telephone conversation with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. The first since the beginning of the special military operation. Reporting this, the Chinese news agency Xinhua did not give any details of the conversation. And it is unlikely to lead, because silence is loved not only by big money, but also by serious diplomacy. Especially when it comes to the possibility of resolving such a complex and dramatic conflict as the Ukrainian one.
Zelensky turned out to be a little more talkative. Some Ukrainian telegram channels, which claim that the initiative of the call came from him, have already put the following words into his mouth: “I believe that he (the conversation – Ed.), as well as the appointment of the Ukrainian ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations “. Here, however, one hitch immediately haunts: “a powerful impetus” to relations between Kyiv and Beijing, how is it perceived in Washington, with approval? After all, China for the United States today, which the Americans do not even hesitate to talk about, is “threat number one.”
In addition, everyone remembers the very recent clumsy explanations of the US administration that Biden himself would like to talk with Comrade Xi, but in Beijing everyone answers that there is no time, there are many things to do. And there was time for Volodymyr from Kyiv. Although he stood in line for a long time, but now, he waited …
On February 24, China unveiled its 12-point proposals for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, including a ceasefire, the resumption of negotiations, the exchange of prisoners, the expansion of the grain deal, the rejection of sanctions measures, and the safe operation of nuclear facilities. Moscow took note of them and added that they could be taken into account in the search for a cessation of hostilities.
But in Ukraine, the Chinese proposals were rejected out of hand. Because Zelensky himself, shortly before that, said that Kyiv could only accept one “peace settlement” plan – the one that was invented in Kyiv. The “Kyiv Wishlist” consisted of a simple and even daring formula: the withdrawal of Russian troops to the 1991 borders, the payment of hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations, and so on. In Beijing, having learned that the Ukrainian leadership indignantly rejected their proposals, they thoughtfully commented on the situation. “If a side rejects the very basis for ending an armed conflict – stopping hostilities and starting a negotiation process,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry reasoned, “then this side is a priori not interested in ending the outcome peacefully.”
And now Zelensky finally got through. What changed? China did not refuse its proposals and did not change them. And Ukraine, as the head of its foreign policy department, Kuleba, said the day before the telephone conversation, has not retreated from its position either: any peace plan that it is ready to discuss should not lead to a freeze of the conflict or to the loss of “Ukrainian territories”.
It is even inconvenient to remind that Zelensky, by his decree, forbade himself to conduct any negotiations with Russia. It is clear that if he nevertheless got through to Xi, then it was definitely about a peaceful settlement. But how is it thought in Kyiv? Who will sit at the negotiating table from Russia? Or are they going to do without it at all?
And then there’s the “successful counter-offensive” as a prerequisite for the start of any talk about peace with Moscow, which the West insists on and tirelessly talk about in Kyiv. But this, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, is schizophrenia. The diagnosis is accurate. And it is unlikely that Beijing is willing to discuss its proposals for a settlement with sick people.
If they are still discussing, then the reason is most likely one. The Kiev leader, of course, not without the approval of the curators, sought a conversation with Chairman Xi for the reason that the “counterattack”, as in the well-known parable of a stone flower, does not come out and does not come out. The impasse is already being recognized by the West. And to continue to say that we, they say, will first “ruin the nose” of Moscow, and then we will roll out our ultimatums to her, where will she go, is already simply ridiculous. The situation must somehow be saved. It was then that they hit themselves on the forehead: “Oh, what did Beijing offer there?”
Maybe instead of a dubious “counterattack”, after which he would have nothing to collect, in Kyiv, not without the approval of senior comrades, they suddenly decided to clarify what the Chinese were up to there. And China, as noted, commenting on reports of Xi’s conversation with Zelensky, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, demonstrates her readiness to make efforts to establish a negotiation process. At the same time, Kyiv demonstrates rejection of any sensible initiatives aimed at a settlement, she said.
And another important clarification was made by Zakharova: the Ukrainian authorities and their Western curators have already demonstrated their ability to wind up peaceful initiatives. Everyone already knows about the “Minsk process”. Maybe next in line is “Beijing”? But with the same goal – to buy time to prepare for a real “counterattack”. It is unlikely that the West has changed its habits.