Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
August 7, 2023
It is a good effort for Ukraine to organize a peace meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia and it concluded peacefully. But it is hardly a “summit” because there was no head of state attending the meeting. We can appreciate Ukraine’s efforts seeking an end of the 18-month-old proxy war on their homeland. But there is not much transparency about the status of the war, the news reports from Ukraine does not help: if these reports were all true, Russia must have been defeated already. It is public information that Ukraine has already received massive supports from the US led west, but Russians are still holding on about 1/5 of Ukraine territories.
This unilateral “peace summit” orchestrated by Ukraine and conducted by the US, will not end the war. Because Russia is excluded from this “peace summit.”
How can you achieve peace without the involvement of Russia? Involving parties in the conflict must and should be present in the peace negotiations to achieve peace. This is not helping anyone to end the conflict. If Ukraine insists on addressing “the punishment of the Russian political leadership guilty of aggression, war crimes, etc., and the point on compensation to Ukraine” the war will go on because Russia will also insist on addressing their major complains that lead to the war in the first place.
Practically, Ukraine should seek an instant “cease fire” agreement with Russia first “maintained” by a UN led peace force that will stop the slaughtering and destructions in Ukraine. Then Ukraine can engage in a peace negotiation with Russia mediated by neutral nations.
US officials briefly met Chinese envoy on sidelines of Saudi summit for Ukraine
Mon, August 7, 2023 at 12:37 PM PDT
Senior U.S. officials briefly met with China’s envoy for Europe over the weekend on the sidelines of a summit in Saudi Arabia promoting Russia’s retreat from its war in Ukraine.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan and acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland held a brief meeting with China’s envoy for Eurasia Li Hui, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said Monday.
The National Security Council described the meeting as a brief greeting.
Miller did not address the details of the meeting, but it comes at a time of fraught tensions between the U.S. and China, with military confrontations and diplomatic spats complicating efforts by the Biden administration to standardize communication between Washington and Beijing.
On Sunday, the State Department criticized as “dangerous” what was described as Chinese naval ships obstructing and blocking Philippine ships in the South China Sea, warning an attack on the Philippine navy would prompt a response from the U.S.
China’s Foreign Ministry responded by accusing the U.S. of “pulling strings behind the scenes.”
And last week, the U.S. dispatched four U.S. Navy destroyers off the coast of Alaska in a show of force against 11 Russian and Chinese military vessels that were transiting American waters.
But U.S. officials have encouraged China to exercise a positive influence to help pull back Russia from its war in Ukraine. Chinese President Xi Jinping is the most high-profile world leader to maintain close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the two declaring a “no limits partnership” shortly before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Monday, Miller called China’s participation in the summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, “productive.”
“We have long said that it would be productive for China to play a role in ending the war in Ukraine, if it was willing to play a role that respected Ukraine’s territorial integrity and Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Miller said.
He rejected the suggestion that China and the U.S. are at the head of talks about any negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, and he put the blame on Moscow for refusing to “engage in meaningful peace negotiations.”
“Russia has shown no sign of curtailing its imperialist ambitions or coming to the negotiating table,” Miller said.
“Should there ever be peace negotiations, it’s Ukraine that will be in the lead, from the non-Russian side. The United States is happy to play any role that is productive, to stand with our Ukrainian partners, and we would welcome any other country that wants to play a productive role as well,” he added.
The summit in Saudi Arabia was the second meeting for Ukraine to personally address dozens of countries on its proposals to end Russia’s war. Ukraine is calling for the full retreat of Russian forces from its territory and arguing against freezing the conflict. Ukraine and its backers say a cease-fire would allow Moscow to solidify territorial gains while buying time for it to restock its military.
China says Jeddah talks on Ukraine helped to ‘consolidate international consensus’
Mon, August 7, 2023 at 2:35 AM PDT
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s foreign ministry said on Monday that international talks in Saudi Arabia at the weekend on finding a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis had helped “to consolidate international consensus”.
More than 40 countries, including China, India, the United States, and European countries, but not Russia, took part in the Jeddah talks that ended on Sunday.
China sent its Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs and former ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, who in May toured six European capitals to find common ground for an eventual political settlement of the conflict, now in its 18th month.
Li “had extensive contact and communication with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis… listened to all sides’ opinions and proposals, and further consolidated international consensus,” the foreign ministry said in a written statement to Reuters.
“All parties positively commented on Li Hui’s attendance, and fully backed China’s positive role in facilitating peace talks,” the statement said.
China will continue to strengthen dialogue based on its 12-point peace proposal, and “accumulate mutual trust“, it said, without going into specific details.
China’s attendance signals possible shifts in Beijing’s approach but not a U-turn in its support for Moscow, analysts said.
The two-day meeting in Jeddah was part of a diplomatic push by Ukraine to build support beyond its core Western backers by reaching out to Global South countries that have been reluctant to take sides in a conflict that has hit the global economy.
Not all points of Ukraine’s peace formula were agreed upon in Jeddah, there are some disputes
Mon, August 7, 2023 at 8:42 AM PDT
At their meeting in Saudi Arabia, the participating states did not agree on all of the points of the peace formula proposed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy; the dialogue on controversial issues continues.
Source: Andrii Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, during a press conference in Kyiv, as reported by European Pravda
Quote: “If all countries had said: ‘Yes, we agree with everything’, then we would have hosted the peace summit by the end of the month. There are points on which there are no objections at all, and there are those on which the dialogue continues.”
Details: Yermak noted that the indisputable point is the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
According to him, “there can be no compromise on territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty [of Ukraine], and many countries emphasised this.”
Yermak said that amongst the points that remain problematic are the point on justice which provides for the punishment of the Russian political leadership guilty of aggression, war crimes, etc., and the point on compensation to Ukraine.
“We still need to work with the countries of the Global South on difficult points, such as responsibility. But not because they are against it, but because they need more explanations of how this will happen,” Yermak said.
According to him, within a month there should be a meeting of advisers where they will discuss issues on which there is no final agreement.
He also said that after the meeting in Saudi Arabia, Ukraine plans to hold a series of summits on the peace formula presented by Zelenskyy.
How can you achieve peace without the involvement of Russia? You can’t impose peace, you have to achieve it. Involving parties in the conflict must and should be present in the peace negotiations to achieve peace. This is not helping anyone to end the conflict.