Top US and Russian diplomats meet on sidelines of G20 for first time since Ukraine invasion
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has urged China not to provide weapons to Russia for use in Ukraine, instead asking Beijing to use its influence in Moscow to work for peace.
“My message to Beijing is clear: use your influence in Moscow to persuade the withdrawal of Russian troops,” Scholz told German lawmakers at the Bundestag on Thursday.
“And do not deliver any weapons to Moscow.”
Scholz also referred to China’s position paper on Ukraine, in which Beijing reiterated its calls for a political settlement to the Ukraine conflict and stressed its opposition to the use of nuclear weapons.
The 12-point document is part of China’s efforts to present itself as a neutral peace broker, as it struggles to balance its “no-limits” friendship with Moscow and fraying relations with the West as the war drags on.
”It is very positive that China has sent out this clear signal and in its 12-point plan has said that there can be no use of chemical or biological weapons,” Scholz said.
”However, China should be discussing this 12-point plan with those most involved – such as President Zelensky,” he added. “At the G20 meeting there was no will unfortunately to emphasize that message.”
Some context: Beijing is coming under increasing pressure from the United States and its allies over its growing partnership with Moscow.
China’s claim to neutrality is severely undermined by its refusal to acknowledge the nature of the conflict — it has avoided calling it an “invasion” — and its diplomatic and economic support to Russia.
For example, China and Russia were the only two G20 nations to refuse to sign a joint statement condemning the invasion produced during a meeting of finance ministers in India on Saturday.