Summit in Beijing between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, number one ally of Vladimir Putin, and his counterpart Xi Jinping. With the blank firing of 21 cannon shots in Tiananmen Square, the Chinese leader wanted to welcome the leader of Belarus before starting talks between the two sides. In recent days, the Chinese president has proposed himself as peace mediator between Ukraine and Russia, also presenting a 12-point peace document on the Ukrainian crisis which, however, was rejected by Kiev, the United States and Europe. During the meeting, Lukashenko affirmed that he “fully supports the Chinese initiative” on the proposals for international peace and security. For Minsk, China’s position on the Ukrainian crisis “is coherent and clear, and the position document on its solution” aims to “promote peace and talks”. Lukashenko then added that “today’s meeting takes place in a very difficult moment in which new unorthodox approaches and responsible political decisions are required, which should above all aim at preventing a slide into a global confrontation that will see no winners”. (WAR IN UKRAINE. THE SPECIAL – LIVE UPDATES)
Xi: “Abandon Cold War Mentality”
Lukashenko then reiterated his commitment to peace between Russia and Ukraine and said that Minsk also aims to strengthen technological cooperation with China. Xi Jinping for his part added that it is necessary “to stick to the direction of the political solution, abandon any Cold War mentality, respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture”. The countries concerned, he added, “should stop politicizing and exploiting the world economy and really do things that help to cease fire and war, resolving the crisis peacefully”.
China-Belarus, “unbreakable friendship”
Faced with the international situation full of instability and uncertainty, Beijing is willing to work with Belarus for “the healthy and stable development of high-level bilateral relations”, highly appreciating Minsk’s “firm support” for China’s legitimate position on Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Human Rights Issues”. Belarus, Lukashenko said in the Chinese report of the summit, “strongly supports China in safeguarding its fundamental interests, strongly supports and participates in the joint construction of the ‘Belt and Road’, the Global Security Initiative and the for global development proposed by President Xi Jinping. China is the cornerstone of maintaining peace in the world”. Xi Jinping then called the friendship between China and Belarus “indissoluble” and stressed that the two countries “should continuously strengthen mutual trust and be true friends and good partners to each other”.
Outcome of the interviews
The Sino-Belarusian summit is the latest sign that Xi is more interested in the war in Ukraine, one year after Moscow’s aggression against Kiev. The state agency Xinhua also gave an account of the talks between Lukashenko and Chinese premier Li Keqiang, during which no mention was made of the Ukrainian affair. Li, in particular, expressed the hope that China and Belarus can deepen “pragmatic cooperation” and “improve communication and coordination” in global and regional affairs. After the talks, held in the Great Hall of the People, the two heads of state signed the ‘Joint Declaration between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Belarus on Further Developing All-Weather Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in the New Era’ and attended the signing of agreements in the fields of economy, commerce, industry, agriculture, customs, science and technology, health, tourism, sports and a series of bilateral cooperation documents in local authorities.