China’s Ukraine ceasefire plan would ratify ‘Russian conquest’, White House says


Any China-brokered ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia would legitimise the illegal takeover of Ukrainian territory and thus would not gain support from the US, the White House has said.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Friday told reporters a ceasefire at this point in the year-long war would have the effect of “ratifying Russian conquest”.

"We certainly don't support calls for a ceasefire that would be called for by the PRC at a meeting in Moscow that would simply benefit Russia,” he said.

"Russia would be free to use a ceasefire to only further entrench their positions in Ukraine, to rebuild, refit and refresh their forces so they can restart attacks on Ukraine at a time of their choosing. A sustainable peace has got to be one that is not one sided and that fully incorporates Ukrainian perspectives. And respects the basic idea of sovereignty – Ukrainian sovereignty,” Mr Kirby added.

The comments from the White House spokesperson come as Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the coming days.

Mr Xi is also reportedly in contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and last month the Chinese government released what it described as a 12-point plan to end the war.

The plan appeared to be based on longstanding Chinese government rhetoric which calls for countries’ “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity be effectively guaranteed” and included a call to end what it describes as a “Cold War mentality” — a shorthand China frequently uses to indicate America’s status as a superpower with outsized influence over other nations.

The Chinese government has claimed to be a neutral player in the conflict, but in the months before Russia sent troops over its border with Ukraine Mr Xi signed what was then described as a “no limits” partnership with Mr Putin’s government.