Published:  08:54 AM, 09 July 2024

Xi calls on world powers to help Russia, Ukraine 'resume direct dialogue'

Xi calls on world powers to help Russia, Ukraine 'resume direct dialogue'
Chinese President Xi Jinping told Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on July 8 that world powers should help Russia and Ukraine restart direct negotiations during a visit to Beijing branded a “peace mission” by the European leader.

China, which has close ties to Russia, has been promoting a six-point peace plan it issued with Brazil in May, while Mr Orban has kicked off a “peace mission” following his country assuming the European Union’s rotating presidency at the beginning of July, Reuters reports.
“Peace Mission 3.0,” Mr Orban said on his official X account, as he touched down in Beijing.

Mr Orban’s trip to China comes a day before Nato is due to hold a summit to mark its 75th anniversary, with setbacks in Ukraine set to dominate discussions, and follows surprise visits by the Hungarian Premier to Russia and Ukraine in the past week. Chinese state broadcaster CCTV quoted Mr Xi as saying the “international community should create conditions and provide assistance for the two sides to resume direct dialogue and negotiations”.
“Only when all major powers exert positive energy rather than negative energy can the dawn of a ceasefire in this conflict appear as soon as possible,” Mr Xi told Mr Orban, according to CCTV.

“Xi Jinping stressed that it is in the interests of all parties to cease fire and seek a political solution as soon as possible,” CCTV said in a readout.
 “The current focus is to abide by the three principles of ‘no spillover of the battlefield, no escalation of the war, and no fuelling of the flames by all parties’ to cool down the situation as soon as possible,” it added.

Mr Orban’s visit comes after he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and also went to the Kremlin, a trip that drew a strong rebuke from his allies.  “China is a key power in creating the conditions for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war,” Mr Orban said on X, adding that that was the reason he was meeting Mr Xi just two months after the Chinese leader visited Budapest.

“We greatly appreciate your peace initiative regarding the conflict in Hungary’s neighbour,” Mr Orban was also quoted as saying to Mr Xi at their meeting by Hungarian state news agency MTI.

“It is very important for Hungarians that China urges peace in the world,” Mr Orban said.
Mr Orban is a critic of Western military aid to Ukraine and is the EU leader with the warmest relations with Mr Xi
and Mr Putin. His

trip to China comes days ahead of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit that will address providing further support to Ukraine, and follows the European Commission confirming last week that it will impose tariffs of up to 37.6 per cent on imports of electric vehicles made in China.
Hungary has become an important trade and investment partner for China, in contrast with some other EU nations seeking to become less dependent on the world’s second-largest economy.

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