Ukraine conflict & diplomacy


As conflict in Ukraine intensifies, the diplomatic efforts by the leading world powers are also getting a good momentum. In this connection, United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are going to hold a telephonic contact today. The two leaders will discuss managing the competition between our two countries as well as Russia’s war against Ukraine and other issues of mutual concern. The two leaders are due to speak on Friday night, Beijing time. They will discuss Sino-US relations and exchange views on issues of common concern.
The call is Biden and Xi’s first since November, and follows a meeting in Rome on Monday between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi. During that meeting, Sullivan raised concerns about China’s alignment with Russia. A senior Biden administration official said Sullivan was direct with Yang about the potential implications and consequences for China for providing support to Russia. The Rome talks were described as intense but with no specific outcome.
China has aligned its rhetoric with that of Russia, and Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had declared weeks before the invasion that their countries’ friendship had no limits. China has also said it wants to avoid being impacted by US sanctions over the war in Ukraine. The Biden administration has tried to persuade Beijing to use its influence to help end the war, but has generally been reluctant to publicly admonish Beijing for tacit support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, it has said every nation will be judged by history for its role in the war, and US officials have warned China both publicly and privately that they would face serious consequences for helping Russia by softening the blow of sanctions. Beijing denied any efforts to help Moscow, and Chinese officials said they want to see the conflict end.
China has endorsed remarks by its envoy to Ukraine, in which Beijing delivered some of its most supportive comments yet towards the war-torn country. Ambassador Fan Xianrong told Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyi during a meeting on Monday that China was a friendly country for the Ukrainian people and would never attack Ukraine. China surely supports these remarks by our ambassador in Ukraine. China supports all efforts that are conducive to easing the situation and for a political settlement.
A day earlier, Zhao had said he was not aware of the comments, fuelling uncertainty about whether Mr Fan was expressing the central government’s position. The world’s two largest economies also continue to spar over human rights and economic policies. The Biden administration has yet to unveil actions against what it considers China’s harmful non-market practices. Biden and Xi last spoke in November, during a video conference in which Mr Biden stressed that the two superpowers need to establish guardrails to ensure their competition does not veer into conflict.
Earlier on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal for the first time, marking America’s strongest condemnation of the Russian leader and his army’s actions since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Momentum has been building in Congress to document and investigate possible war crimes in Ukraine, with the Senate unanimously calling for an international investigation into war crimes on Tuesday.