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Summit on Ukraine: Zelensky accuses China of “preventing” countries from participating

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Sunday China to work à "preventêcher" countries to participate à a Peace Summit on Ukraine, which Beijing criticized because Russia is not invited.

“Unfortunately, China is now trying to prevent countries from coming to the Peace Summit,” Zelensky told reporters on the sidelines of a security forum in Singapore.

China has indicated that its President Xi Jinping will not participate in this summit and US President Joe Biden has not yet committed.

“We are disappointed that some world leaders have not yet confirmed their participation in the Peace Summit,” Mr. Zelensky said without mentioning China or the United States by name.

More than a hundred countries and organizations have committed to participating in this Summit scheduled for June in Switzerland, said Mr. Zelensky, urging countries in the Asia-Pacific region to join.

China said on Friday that it would be “difficult” to participate in this summit if Russia is not invited, a statement approved by Moscow.

“There is an obvious gap between the arrangements made for the conference on the one hand and China's demands and the general expectations of the international community on the other, which makes it difficult to participation of China,” said Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Friday.

“Otherwise, the conference will be difficult to play a substantial role in the return peace”, she added during a press briefing.

The Ukrainian leader met earlier Sunday with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a meeting he described as “very good”.

Summit on Ukraine: Zelensky accuses China of “preventing” countries from participating

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (c) following a meeting with US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, June 2, 2024 in Singapore © AFP – Martin ABBUGAO

Mr. Zelensky welcomed Friday “a step forward”, following the green light given by the United States to the use by kyiv of weapons supplied by the Americans to strike, under conditions, targets on Russian soil .

Ukraine struggles to contain a Russian ground offensive in the Kharkiv region (northeast), where Moscow recently made its biggest territorial advances in 18 months .

In a communication on of our country, the strengthening of the air defense system of Ukraine, the F-16 coalition and the drafting of a bilateral security agreement”.

– “unwavering American support” –

Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder said in a briefing that Austin reiterated “the United States' unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.”

Summit on Ukraine: Zelensky accuses China of “preventing” countries from participating

US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin during the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1, 2024 in Singapore © AFP – NHAC NGUYEN

Mr. Zelensky has visited several European countries in recent days to call for more military aid for his army which is losing ground in the face of incessant attacks from Russia.

On the last day of this annual defense summit, against a backdrop of tensions around Taiwan and in the South China Sea, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun warned that Beijing would act “with determination and force” to prevent independence of Taiwan while calling for more military communications with the United States.

“We have always been open to exchanges and cooperation, but this requires that the two sides meet each other halfway,” said Mr. Dong, who met Mr. Austin on Friday, their first direct meeting in 18 months.

“We believe we need more exchanges precisely because there are differences between our two armies,” he added.

Summit on Ukraine: Zelensky accuses China of “preventing” countries from participating

Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun during the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 2, 20244 in Singapore © AFP – NHAC NGUYEN

After their meeting on Friday, Mr. Austin said that telephone conversations between American and Chinese military commanders would resume “in the coming months.”

But Mr. Dong also underlined on Sunday China's determination to defend its claimed sovereignty over Taiwan.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army “will act with determination and force at all times to curb Taiwan's independence and ensure that it never succeeds in its attempts,” Dong said, adding that restraint of Beijing in the South China Sea had “limits”, following a series of skirmishes between Chinese and Philippine ships in a disputed area.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116