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Poland concerned about Beijing rapprochement with Moscow

Poland is concerned about Beijing’s declarations of seeking closer bilateral relations with Russia, the Foreign Ministry of Poland has stated. In a conversation with the Chinese government’s Eurasia envoy Li Hui, Deputy Foreign Minister Wojciech Gerwel meanwhile spoke positively about Beijing’s recent dialogue with Kyiv.

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As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release, Friday’s meeting of diplomats in Warsaw was held at the initiative of the Chinese side, and “the purpose of the Chinese diplomat’s visit was to consult with key partners in the European Union on the Beijing’s position towards Russian aggression against Ukraine”.

Wojciech Gerwel stressed that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine poses a key challenge to regional and global stability and security. It was emphasized that in this war, the rationales are not equally distributed, and any attempt to equate the status of Russia the aggressor and Ukraine the victim is unacceptable.

“It is imperative that the end of the conflict and the restoration of peace be based on the principles of international law, including the UN Charter. We support President Zelenskyy’s peace plan, which provides a good basis for resolving the conflict. The withdrawal of Russian troops and the return of lands illegally taken by Russia are the only acceptable solution for achieving a just peace,” said Deputy Minister Gerwel as quoted in the Foreign Ministry release.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that “Poland is concerned about Beijing’s declarations of seeking to strengthen bilateral relations with Russia, the aggressor state”.

Gerwel expressed the hope that China would never recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukrainian land, just as it has so far failed to recognize the 2014 annexation of Crimea. He also stressed that military aid, including possible arms deliveries from China to Russia, could have very serious consequences for Europe’s relationship with China.

China has sent out a warning to all embassies in Beijing, telling them not to display "politicised propaganda" in front of their buildings.

The warning is seen as targeting the embassies that have supported Ukraine, such as Poland, Slovakia, Great Britain and Canada.

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) May 18, 2023
“Deputy Minister Gerwel pointed to China’s special responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and expressed the expectation that China – an advocate of the five principles of peaceful coexistence – would condemn Russian aggression and attempt to influence Russia to renounce its aggression and return to compliance with international law,” the Foreign Ministry statement reads.

The deputy minister of Polish diplomacy also blasted Russia’s nuclear weapons threats. “This sets a dangerous precedent and may also have negative consequences for other parts of the world. Poland is counting on concrete action from China against Russia – a state blackmailing the world with the use of these weapons,” according to the Ministry of Diplomacy.

He emphasized the importance of international assistance for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s operations in Ukraine, particularly to secure the safe functioning of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

According to the Polish Foreign Ministry, the Chinese official stated that the situation in Ukraine is serving no one’s interests.

According to the Chinese side, there is no simple solution to the Ukrainian conflict. The interlocutor emphasized the importance of a cease-fire and a resumption to peace discussions. In this context, he also emphasized China’s 12-point “Position on a Political Solution to the Ukraine Crisis.”

According to the ministry, Ambassador Li declared China’s unequivocal opposition to the use of nuclear weapons, demonstrating the significance China places on nuclear security and upholding international organizations’ mandates.

The Chinese government’s special representative was in Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday. He met with Dmytro Kuleba, the chief of Ukrainian diplomacy. According to Chinese media, Li also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday.

The head of Ukrainian diplomacy was also expected to highlight the importance of the PRC’s participation in the implementation of the ‘peace formula’ developed by President Zelenskyy, the Black Sea Grain Initiative and nuclear security.

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