Ukraine could win China’s favor, peeling away crucial Russian ally, official says
Andriy Melnyk emphasized that Ukrainian diplomats should work to ensure that China takes a more pro-Ukrainian position (Photo:Embassy of Ukraine in China/Embassy of Ukraine in China via Facebook)
Beijing could change its neutral stance towards the Russo-Ukrainian war and adopt a more pro-Ukrainian position, Ukraine’s former Ambassador to Germany and now Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Andrii Melnyk, said in an interview with NV Radio on Feb. 1.
“We see their neutral position, their skeptical and restrained attitude towards this war that the Russians are waging against Ukraine,” said Melnyk.
“But we count on the fact that this position can and should change in our favor, that they will look at us outside of the context of this great confrontation – China against the collective West. Unfortunately, Ukraine is viewed in this context by (Chinese) leadership. But I think we have a chance with China. Even though it’s very difficult.”
At the same time, the diplomat noted that “Ukraine's chance with China” won’t manifest quickly.
“China at least abstained at the UN, during a vote on important General Assembly resolutions in the context of this aggression.” Melnyk explained.
“In some cases, they voted against. So, we have a room for a maneuver here, which leaves us a chance to convince Beijing that it is in China’s national interests to switch to the Ukrainian side.”
Melnyk recalled that China is deeply involved in trade with the West, including Germany and the United States, and is just as dependent on these relations as the other side is.
“It all depends on how much we can reach out to China, convince it that China has the opportunity to stand on our side or support us with small deeds, like humanitarian aid,” he added.
“Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet, but it can be achieved. Of course, weapons and everything else is less realistic. But one can start with small things.”
China has refrained from criticizing Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, but at the most recent G20 summit in Indonesia, Xi Jinping reportedly “strongly opposed the use of nuclear weapons and supported the de-escalation and ceasefire.”
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