A Chinese special envoy will arrive in Kyiv for a two-day visit on Tuesday, as part of a European tour to promote Beijing-led peace negotiations on the war in Ukraine.

China, which has close ties with Russia, has tried to position itself as a mediator in the war in Ukraine.

A Ukrainian government official told AFP that China’s high-ranking diplomat Li Hui “will be in Kyiv May 16 and 17.”

Beijing had announced his visit last week, saying Li would also visit Russia and other European nations.

The trip comes three weeks after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by telephone to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Li served as China’s ambassador to Russia from 2009 to 2019.

He will also visit Russia, as well as European Union members Poland, France and Germany.


Beijing has said the aim of the tour was to “communicate with all parties on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis”.

Xi visited Moscow in March and has been criticised for refusing to condemn Mosco’s war on its neighbour.

A month later, he spoke to Zelensky for the first time since Russia’s invasion. The Ukrainian leader described the exchange as a “long and meaningful” conversation.

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