President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, a close ally of Russia, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday on a state visit to monitor China’s response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. China claims neutrality in the war, but US officials have recently warned that it is considering sending military aid to Russia. Beijing has called the US allegations a smear campaign, and said it was committed to promoting peace talks.
China has long had close ties with Lukashenko. But his visit also reflects the deepening of Beijing’s ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his allies. Lukashenko’s government has strongly supported Moscow and a year ago allowed Belarus’ territory to be used as a staging ground for an initial invasion of Ukraine. Russia maintains a contingent of troops and weapons in Belarus and both neighbors and allies hold joint military exercises.
This stance further alienated Lukashenko in Europe, where his country faces EU sanctions over both its role in the war and its suppression of domestic opposition. In a recent interview with Chinese media, Lukashenko said that now there is a unique situation. To stop the conflictThe interview was first released last week, but parts of it were shared online again on Monday night by Belarus state media.
China issues peace talks proposal to Ukraine and Russia
Beijing issued a proposal on Friday for a ceasefire and peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. It has accused the US and NATO of inciting the conflict and condemned sanctions imposed against Russia and entities seen as aiding its military efforts. America has no right to point fingers at China-Russia relations. We will not accept US pressure and coercion in any way, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a daily briefing on Monday.