Chinese delegation declines to meet with Zelenskyy at Davos — report

Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Davos on January 16
Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Davos on January 16

Despite Kyiv’s efforts to establish robust diplomatic contacts with Beijing, the Ukrainian delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos did not meet with Chinese officials attending the event, Politico reported on Jan. 17.

According to the report, the Head of the President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, had previously indicated the need for China to engage in peace negotiations aimed at ending Russia’s war against Ukraine and hinted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy might have the opportunity to speak with Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Davos.

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“In the end, Ukraine made no headway on getting China to commit to negotiations, and Zelenskyy and Li failed to speak,” the article reads.

Citing an anonymous U.S. official, Politico reported that China's decision to avoid a meeting with Ukrainian officials seemed deliberate. According to the source, Beijing rejected Kyiv's request for a meeting in Switzerland. Another U.S. official told reporters that Russia had urged China to avoid diplomatic contacts with Ukraine.

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A Ukrainian official, however, told the publication that there was no meeting with China scheduled because Ukraine did not request one. Chinese officials did not respond to journalists' requests for comment.

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Politico added that a senior European Union official said the bloc had urged China to re-engage with Zelenskyy, noting that "a meeting with Li in Switzerland would have been a positive step."

On Dec. 20, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a meeting with Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin, stated his plan to "expand" ties with Moscow.

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