If Kiev wants 1991 borders, it needs to talk to Moscow, Beijing’s ambassador to Brussels has said
China’s ambassador to the EU, Fu Cong, has told several media outlets that Beijing is open to any border solution for Ukraine that is a result of negotiations, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
“I don’t see why not,” Fu told several outlets earlier this month, when asked if China could endorse Kiev’s claim to Ukraine’s 1991 borders.
“We respect the territorial integrity of all countries. So when China established relations with the former Soviet Union, that’s what we agreed,” the diplomat added. “But as I said, these are historical issues that need to be negotiated and resolved by Russia and Ukraine, and that is what we stand for.”
According to Al Jazeera, Fu made the comments to them and two other media outlets, following the June 16 Europe-China Business Summit in Brussels. It was unclear why they went unreported until now.
Previously a top-tier arms-control negotiator, Fu has been Beijing’s envoy to the EU since December 2022. China has repeatedly called for a peaceful resolution of the Ukraine conflict, proposing a 12-point “roadmap” for a negotiated settlement in February. Beijing has also endorsed the recent African Union peace proposal.
While Moscow has been open to both proposals, with some reservations, Kiev has rejected them entirely – as have the US and the EU. Last month, EU’s foreign policy commissioner Josep Borrell called China’s roadmap “a set of wishful considerations, wishful thinking” but “not a peace plan.”
According to Borrell, the only proper “peace plan” is the one formulated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which amounts to a Russian capitulation. One of Zelensky’s demands is that Moscow “return” all territory claimed by Kiev – meaning not just the four regions that voted to join Russia in the fall of 2022, but also Crimea.
The peninsula, attached to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, voted to rejoin Russia in March 2014, after the US-backed coup in Kiev. Moscow regards its status as a part of Russia entirely non-negotiable. The Kremlin has also argued that Kiev would need to “recognize reality” when it comes to the territories of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Lugansk choosing to become Russian.