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China: ‘Stop sending weapons, hold talks’ to end Ukraine war

China's Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui (photo by AFP)

The West is to blame for the war in Ukraine given the unrelenting arms supply to the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky, a Chinese official has said. 

Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui made the remarks on Friday while speaking to reporters in Beijing after a visit to Moscow and Kiev.

“If we really want to stop war, save lives and achieve peace, we should stop sending weapons to the battlefield," he said. 

“The painful lessons of how the Ukraine crisis developed to its current state merit deep reflection by all parties.”

The Chinese official said the essence of the Ukraine crisis is the contradictions in European security governance.

He said he believes all parties support the political settlement of the war.

Li said there are still too many problems for both sides to start peace talks. “The two sides have not fully shut the door on peace talks.”

Li visited European capitals last month as Beijing sought to play a mediating role in the war.

On Friday, the Chinese official said Beijing could send another delegation to the region, though he did not give a specific date or destination.

In February, Beijing released a paper calling for a "political settlement" to the conflict, which Western countries warned could enable Russia to retain much of the territory it has seized in Ukraine.

During a March meeting in Moscow, Chinese President Xi Jinping invited President Vladimir Putin of Russia to visit Beijing. The two leaders said relations were "entering a new era."

Some say China has the upper hand in relation to Russia and that its influence is increasing as Moscow's international isolation deepens.

Russia has repeatedly said it is ready to meet with the Ukrainian authorities to resolve disputes and resume peace talks if Moscow's preconditions are fulfilled.

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