The United States does not deny that China “has a role” in resolving the crisis around Ukraine. State Department deputy press chief Vedant Patel said this at a briefing Monday as China’s special envoy Li Hui traveled to Moscow, Berlin, Warsaw, Kiev and Paris for consultations on resolving the Ukrainian crisis.

“As I said earlier, it is important for the PRC to hear directly from our Ukrainian partners why Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected, why Ukraine’s security concerns must be addressed. We also said that when it comes to diplomacy, nothing should happen without Ukraine when it comes to Ukraine. For the PRC and frankly, for that matter, any country, there is a role for diplomatic support for an outcome that is consistent with the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the U.S. foreign policy official said.

In his view, “no one wants this war (Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine) to end, more than the United States’ Ukrainian partners.” “But the other part of this is Russia, the Kremlin,” Patel said, repeating claims repeatedly made in the West and rejected by Moscow that Russia is supposedly not interested in resolving the Ukrainian conflict.

“Our goal, the goal of the United States, will continue to be to ensure that Ukraine can defend itself against further attacks from Russia, that if Ukraine decides to conduct its own offensive operations, that it can repel a Russian invasion, that it has the means to conduct those [combat operations],” the State Department official added.

During a recent phone call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing would send its special envoy to Ukraine to resolve the crisis. Li Hui was China’s deputy foreign minister from 2008 to 2009. He was China’s ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Russia from 2009 to 2019. As China’s permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun stressed on May 15, it is impossible to wait for many years to resume talks on Ukraine; it is necessary to create the conditions for the start of consultations.

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