Ukraine tells Chinese envoy it won't accept ceding land to Russia

FILE PHOTO: Billboard in support of Ukraine outside the Canadian embassy in Beijing

KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine's foreign minister told a top Chinese envoy at talks in Kyiv on Wednesday that Kyiv would not accept any proposals to end the war with Russia that involved it losing territory or freezing the conflict, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said.

Li Hui, China's special representative for Eurasian affairs and former ambassador to Russia, visited Ukraine on Tuesday and Wednesday, and met Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the ministry said in a statement.

The visit is the first to Kyiv by a senior envoy from China, which has burgeoning ties with Russia, since Moscow's full-scale invasion in February 2022.

"Kuleba briefed the special envoy of the Chinese government in detail on the principles of restoring a sustainable and just peace based on respect for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the ministry said.

"He stressed that Ukraine did not accept any proposals involving the loss of its territories or the freezing of the conflict," it said.

The senior Chinese official's trip to Europe is expected also to include talks in Russia, Poland, France and Germany.

China has refrained from condemning Moscow or referring to its actions as an "invasion", leading to criticism from European countries and the United States, which have questioned China's credibility as a potential broker in the conflict.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage)