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China's No-Show at Zelensky’s Peace Conference Dampens Bid to Win Over Global South

© AFP 2023 / ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLEUkraine's Volodymyr Zelensky stands next to a US flag on the sidelines of the Summit on peace in Ukraine on June 15, 2024 in Switzerland.
Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky stands next to a US flag on the sidelines of the Summit on peace in Ukraine on June 15, 2024 in Switzerland. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.06.2024
China's leader Xi Jingping was one of a host of leaders absent at Zelensky's much-touted peace conference on Ukraine. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said before the summit that both Moscow and Kiev must be involved to restore peace.
China’s absence from Volodymyr Zelensky’s so-called peace conference in Switzerland cast a shadow over efforts to win over the Global South.
The noticeable absence of delegations from other BRICS states helped dash Zelensky’s ambitions for the gathering — from which Russia was excluded.
The attempt to broaden the ranks of Ukraine’s allies “risks sapping Zelensky’s war effort as the momentum in fighting has swung to Russia,” lamented US news site Bloomberg.
After angling for more aid at the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy, Zelensky had been hoping to woo potential allies outside the West, New York businessman Michael Bloomberg's site said. But the list of attendees spoke volumes.

Switzerland offered to host the conference to discuss Volodymyr Zelensky's 10 -point "peace plan" at the exclusive Bürgenstock resort near Lucerne on June 15 and 16. Delegations from 92 countries and eight organizations, including the European Union, Council of Europe and UN confirmed their participation, with 55 heads of state attending.

US Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in place of President Joe Biden, who chose to attend a glitzy Hollywood celebrity fundraiser over a handshake with the now-illegitimate Ukrainian leader.
Russia has stated that Zelensky can no longer be considered the legitimate president of Ukraine since his term of office ended last month without a new presidential election in line with the country's constitution.
China insisted from the outset that the peace summit was pointless without Russia.
"China advocates the timely convening of a real peace conference, which both Russia and Ukraine recognize, with equal participation of all sides and honest discussion of all peace plans," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers in Russia.

In February 2023, Beijing released a 12-point document which called for respect for the sovereignty of all countries, the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks between Moscow and Kiev.

Commenting on China’s absence, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan accused Beijing of bowing to Russian pressure.
Besides the keenly-felt absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also refused to attend the event. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed his country’s participation, but not his own presence at the summit. Colombian President Gustavo Petro pulled out at the last minute as the summit was not a "free forum" for peace between Moscow and Kiev.
The BRICS countries and several other states at the summit refused to sign the joint final declaration on Sunday. The document was signed by only 80 out of the 92 delegations, with the names of Armenia, Bahrain, Brazil, the Holy See, India, Indonesia, Libya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates absent.
Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office Director Wang Yi meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.06.2024
China Supports Holding Peace Conference Recognized by Russia and Ukraine - Foreign Minister
Russia dismissed the conference, to which it was not invited, as “meaningless.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the summit was not result-oriented, as it was impossible to hold peace talks on Ukraine without Russia's participation.
The goal of the conference is to deliver an ultimatum to Russia in the form of Zelensky's "peace plan," Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia told Sputnik.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives to attend a meeting with US Secretary of State in Kiev on May 14, 2024. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.06.2024
Swiss-Hosted Summit Aims to Give Russia Ultimatum in Form of Zelensky's 'Plan' - Envoy to UN
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