28th May 2023 – (Beijing) Li Hui, the special representative of the Chinese government on Eurasian affairs, has completed his six-leg tour to Europe that included stops in Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, Brussels, and Moscow. The trip took place from 15th May to 26th May, 2023, during which Li met with leaders and diplomats to exchange views on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
The much-anticipated trip came after a phone call between the heads of state of China and Ukraine, in which the Chinese leader renewed Beijing’s commitment to standing on the side of peace over the Ukraine crisis.
During his tour, Li held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Head of the Ukrainian President’s Office Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, officials of the Ukrainian ministries of infrastructure, energy, and defense, Polish Undersecretary of State Wojciech Gerwel, Frederic Mondoloni, director general of political and security affairs of the French Foreign Ministry, German Federal Foreign Office State Secretary Andreas Michaelis, Frederic Bernard, head of Cabinet of President of European Council Charles Michel, Enrique Mora, deputy secretary-general of the European External Action Service, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Andrei Rudenko, and Mikhail Galuzin, both deputy foreign ministers of Russia.
Li emphasised that there is no panacea to resolve the crisis, and the parties involved need to proceed from themselves, accumulate mutual trust and create conditions for ending the conflict and promoting peace talks. China values Poland’s important role in regional affairs and stands ready to maintain communication with Poland on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Li also emphasised that China and France have many common understandings on the Ukraine issue, and China supports European countries’ efforts to address the root causes of the crisis and find a solution for lasting peace and security of the European continent.
Li’s visit was highly appreciated by the EU officials who spoke highly of the positive role China played in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The EU shares a lot of common interests regarding the Ukraine issue with China. Russia also appreciated China’s sincere desire and practical efforts to promote a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis and believed China’s relevant principles and stance were conducive to a peaceful settlement.
The trip was significant as it showed China’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in Europe, which is in line with Beijing’s foreign policy objectives. It also highlighted the importance of China’s relations with these European countries in addressing regional and international issues.