August 04, 2022 01:00 GMT
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Ukraine is seeking an opportunity for "direct" talks with China about its ongoing war with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview.
- “I would like to talk directly. I had one conversation with [President] Xi Jinping that was a year ago. Since the beginning of the large-scale aggression on February 24, we have asked officially for a conversation, but we (haven’t had) any conversation with China even though I believe that would be helpful.”
- Separately, Zelensky told Australian students at an online event that he wanted Beijing to join the list of countries that have condemned Russia. He assessed that China is now "balancing," admitting that "this neutrality is better than China joining Russia."
- His efforts will be constrained by the flare-up in Sino-U.S. tensions over Taiwan, which comes on top of China's already close diplomatic ties with Russia. Stepping up support for Moscow could be one of Beijing's options to punish the U.S. for House Speaker Pelosi's trip to Taiwan.