Xi Jinping Urges World Powers to Help Negotiate Ukraine Peace

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on world powers to assist Russia and Ukraine in resuming direct dialogue and negotiations, according to state broadcaster CCTV. This call came during a meeting on Monday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who made a surprise visit to China following similar trips to Russia and Ukraine last week. Orbán’s aim was to discuss prospects for a peaceful settlement in the ongoing conflict.

Orbán, known for his strong ties with China, commended Beijing’s “constructive and important initiatives” towards achieving peace, describing China as a stabilizing force amidst global instability. He highlighted the significant role of three world powers – the United States, the European Union, and China – in bringing an end to the war, as stated in a Facebook post showing him shaking hands with Xi. This post also emphasized that the war’s resolution depends on their decisions.

The meeting between Orbán and Xi marks their second encounter in two months. In May, Xi hosted Orbán in Hungary as part of a European tour that also included France and Serbia. Notably, Serbia, unlike France and Hungary, is not a member of the European Union or NATO.

Hungary under Orbán has cultivated substantial political and economic relationships with China. The country hosts several Chinese electric vehicle battery facilities, and in December, it announced that BYD, a leading Chinese EV manufacturer, would establish its first European EV production factory in Hungary.

Orbán’s visit to China, dubbed “Peace mission 3.0” on the X social media platform, follows his previously unannounced trips to Moscow and Kyiv last week. In these visits, he proposed that Ukraine consider an immediate cease-fire with Russia. His visit to Moscow drew criticism from Kyiv and European leaders.

Orbán acknowledged the diminishing number of countries capable of engaging in dialogue with both warring sides, stating that Hungary is gradually becoming the sole European country with the ability to communicate with all parties involved.

Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the EU in July, and Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested Orbán’s visit to Moscow was in his capacity as a representative of the European Council. However, several prominent European officials rejected this claim, emphasizing that Orbán’s mandate extended only to discussions on bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Orbán, known for his close relationship with Putin among EU leaders, has consistently obstructed, delayed, or watered down EU efforts to support Kyiv and impose sanctions on Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. He has long advocated for a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine but has not provided details regarding its territorial integrity or future security. This stance has frustrated Hungary’s EU and NATO allies, who condemn Russia’s actions as a violation of international law and a threat to the security of Eastern European nations.

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