Day 383: Xi Jinping To Meet Putin, Speak To Zelenskyy

    Day 383: Xi Jinping To Meet Putin, Speak To Zelenskyy
    Last updated Mar 13, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via BBC]


    • Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping is reportedly planning to speak with the Ukrainian Pres. Zelenskyy, after he visits Moscow next week to meet with Russian Pres. Putin in an attempt to play a more active role in facilitating the end of the year-long war.
    • Xi's efforts to play peacemaker between Russia and Ukraine come as China called for a ceasefire and peace talks to find a political solution to the conflict and put an end to unilateral sanctions in a 12-point proposal offered last month.
    • However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that military action was the only way to achieve goals in Ukraine, saying, "So far there are no preconditions for the transition of the process into a peaceful course."
    • Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are locked in a brutal battle with Russian troops to control Bakhmut. The commander of Ukrainian ground forces, Colonel general Oleksandr Syrskyi, said: "All enemy attempts to capture the town are repelled by artillery, tanks, and other firepower," and that Russian Wagner Group mercenaries "are attacking from several directions trying to break through the defenses of our troops and advance to the central districts of the town."
    • Earlier, Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin referred to the situation in Bakhmut as "very difficult." He said: "The enemy is battling for every metre [sic]...Ukrainians are throwing endless reserves..."
    • Elsewhere, Zelenskyy awarded the Hero of Ukraine to Oleksandr Matsievskyi — a sniper from the 119th Separate Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces who was executed by machine gun fire on camera after being captured by Russian soldiers.


    Pro-establishment narrative

    Beijing — which has refrained from condemning Russian military action in Ukraine or calling it an invasion, or speaking with Zelenskyy since the hostilities broke out — wants to use the opportunity to burnish its status as a global peace broker, navigate escalating competition with the US, and capitalize on the momentum from the Saudi-Iran deal. While it may cast itself as a neutral mediator, China would ensure the talks tilt in favor of Russia — its "no limits" partner.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    China officially regards Ukraine as a sovereign nation, while it was Ukraine’s largest trading partner before the war. If Xi Jinping calls for respecting the sovereignty of all countries and warns Moscow against escalating the conflict with nuclear weapons, his proposal to end the war must be given a chance. Given the appalling human cost of the war, the world must consider the proposal carefully instead of dismissing it outrightly. The PRC could potentially play a vital role in resolving this horrific conflict.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 5% chance that Ukraine will receive a security guarantee from another country before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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