China’s special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, will visit Ukraine as part of a European tour to promote peace negotiations on the ongoing war in Ukraine. Li Hui, who is fluent in Russian, will also travel to Poland, France, and Germany during the multiday trip to communicate with different parties for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. This will be the most senior Chinese official to visit Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February 2022. Hui served as China’s ambassador to Russia from 2009 to 2019.
China has close ties with Russia and has tried to position itself as a mediator in the war in Ukraine. The aim of the tour is to communicate with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. China’s 12-point peace plan, which consists of Beijing’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, was presented on the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February this year. It exhorted “both sides” to consent to a gradual de-escalation and give up the “Cold War mentality”.
Li Hui’s visit could coincide with the beginning of Ukraine’s long-awaited counteroffensive to recapture territory seized and occupied by Russia. The Chinese envoy will start his European tour in Ukraine and then proceed to Russia.