The Shanghai branch of the Communist Party newspaper, People’s Daily, on February 27, 2022.
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BEIJING – In China, tightly controlled coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has focused heavily on negotiations.
Beijing’s line has been to advance negotiations, with China trying to distance itself from Russia further than was portrayed in early February during a high-level meeting between the Chinese president. Xi Jinping The Russian President Russian President Vladimir Putin.
As the Ukrainian delegation arrived at the Belarus border for the first round of talks with Russia on Monday, Chinese state media scrambled to update the procedures and even broadcast them live. State media denied reports that Xi’s call with Putin late on Friday focused on the Russian leader’s willingness to negotiate.
When the war began on Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry maintained its focus on negotiations. And while China said that, she did not like what she was seeing. It declined to classify the attack as an invasion.
Chinese state media has instead used the term “special military operations”. The state-run daily CCTV evening news broadcast reported the Russia-Ukrainian conflict, but in a brief segment at the end of the about half-hour program in a special section on international news.
Again, discussion of the war focused more on efforts toward negotiations, and less on the Russian offensive.
While China’s Xinhua News Agency published visual reports on Ukrainian refugees, some of which were reported by the People’s Communist Party Daily, it claimed to show refugees arriving at the eastern border with Russia.
Xinhua News Agency has broadcast live from Kyiv from time to time, mostly talking about the lives of local people amid the “conflict”.
Over the weekend, the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine released a nearly 10-minute video of Ambassador Fan Xianrong, in which he said he was in Kyiv hearing sirens, explosions and gunshots.
China is “extremely sad” to see the conflict, said Chinese Minister Wang Yi in a phone call on Tuesday with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, according to an official English-language statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry. And local media published the Chinese version of the reading, which also said that the call focused on the evacuation of Chinese citizens.
The state-run financial media discussed the impact of the war on commodity prices and markets.
But as is often the case in China, the media focused heavily on Xi’s speeches and domestic events.
Beijing is focusing on what is usually a politically sensitive time of the year – a largely symbolic gathering of delegates in the capital to agree on a GDP growth target, the national budget and other policy measures. The main meeting is scheduled to start on Saturday and last for at least a week.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine coincided with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of US President Richard Nixon’s trip to China and a thaw in US relations with Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang stressed the importance of the US-China relationship and the need to enhance cooperation and return to the “correct” track, according to statements carried by Chinese media.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesmen blamed the United States for escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and state media’s daily evening news broadcast showed the United States as failing to deal with the epidemic and maintain stability in the Middle East.
During a press conference Tuesday, China’s Ministry of Commerce did not respond to a single reporter’s question about trade with Russia, Ukraine or the United States.