Chinese President Xi Jinping may use his ongoing trip to Moscow for meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a chance to reiterate Beijing’s calls for peace in Ukraine, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday.
“We expect that China may use this visit to reiterate calls for a ceasefire under its peace proposal,” Blinken said during a press briefing.
Xi is on a state visit to Moscow from March 20-22, which is his first foreign trip after being reelected earlier this month to a third term as China’s leader.
Putin said on Monday that he has carefully studied China’s peace proposal for Ukraine. Russia is open to negotiations and respects China’s plan, Putin said.
In February, China published a 12-point statement on a political settlement to the conflict in Ukraine. The proposal included ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, protecting nuclear power plants, facilitating grain exports and abandoning a Cold War mentality.
There are some elements of China’s proposal that the United States supports, Blinken said.
However, any peace plan that does not uphold the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine is a “stalling tactic” or attempting to facilitate an unjust outcome, Blinken said. A ceasefire at this time would effectively be supporting Russia’s actions, Blinken said.
The world should not be “fooled” by any attempts by Russia to halt the conflict on its terms, Blinken added.
An end to fighting right now would put Ukraine at a “distinct disadvantage,” White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said last week.