China says not forcing other nations to avoid Ukraine summit

Friday, 07 Jun, 2024
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning. (Photo courtesy: nz.china-embassy.gov.cn)

Beijing: Asserting that it is "open and neutral" and doesn’t engage in "coercion", China hit back at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s claims that Beijing is working to disrupt the peace summit in Switzerland this month.

“China’s diplomatic approach does not involve hegemony or coercion,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said when asked about Zelensky’s claim that Beijing tried to prevent other countries from attending the gathering.

“So I want to emphasize that China’s position is open and transparent, and it is absolutely not putting pressure on other countries,” Mao added. Speaking on June 2 at a security forum in Singapore, Zelensky accused Beijing of “working hard today to prevent countries from coming to the peace summit” due to be hosted by Switzerland in June.

According to the South China Morning Post, he expressed concerns that China’s support for Russia would likely prolong the war, and that would have negative consequences for the world.

“Russia, using Chinese influence in the region, using Chinese diplomats also, does everything to disrupt the peace summit,” he said, adding, "Regrettably, this is unfortunate that such a big independent powerful country as China is an instrument in the hands of (Russian leader Vladimir) Putin.”

Zelensky said earlier this month that more than 100 countries and organizations had signed up to the peace conference in Switzerland so far.

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