The Biden administration is welcoming a potential meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Chinese communist leader Xi Jinping.
The White House would encourage such an arrangement in order to help the Chinese regime gain a better understanding of the needs of the Ukrainian people, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
“We think it would be a very good thing if the two of them talked,” Kirby said during a March 16 press call. “We think it’s really important for the Chinese to get the Ukrainian perspective and not just Mr. Putin’s.”
Kirby also said that the White House had been “encouraging” such a meeting for “quite some time” and said that the administration would be cautious of any attempt by China to broker a peace deal without consulting deeply with Ukraine first.
“We would certainly be concerned by any proposals coming out of [China] that would be one-sided and reflect only the Russian perspective,” he said.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which rules China as a single-party state, is attempting to position itself as a mediator, although—to date—the regime has openly supported Russia’s attempted conquest and hasn’t held any substantive talks with Ukrainian officials.
In February, the regime released a 12-point position paper, which it touted as a “peace plan,” although the document largely parroted Russian propaganda and blamed the war on the United States and NATO. Zelenskyy said the paper’s emphasis on preserving national sovereignty necessarily meant that Russian troops would need to leave Ukraine.
“What they are saying looks like respect for territorial integrity,” Zelenskyy said of the CCP document. “It doesn’t mention the country, but it’s our territorial integrity that has been breached.
“Territorial integrity implies withdrawal of Russian troops. If it’s not there, that means it is not OK with us.”
Likewise, Kirby said that the CCP’s push for a ceasefire without Russian withdrawal would serve only to help Russia rearm and train its troops for another offensive.
“While [ceasefire] sounds perfectly reasonable and it sounds like a good thing, a ceasefire right now would basically ratify Russia’s conquests,” Kirby said. “It would, in effect, recognize Russia’s gains and all of its attempts to conquer a neighbor’s territory by force.
“If a peace is going to be enduring, if it’s going to be a just peace, if it’s going to be sustainable, it can’t be one-sided. It has to absolutely include and be informed by Ukrainian perspectives and Ukrainian decisions.”