(Bloomberg) -- Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu extended an offer to his Ukrainian counterpart on Saturday to use “all means” of outreach possible to try to end Russia’s war, while also pledging to expand military communications with Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s deputy defense chief.
Li met with Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and his team Saturday on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, with China continuing to push for a role as peacemaker in the conflict despite its close political and economic ties to Moscow.
During the meeting, the Ukrainian side sought to deepen Beijing’s understanding of the situation on the ground, Deputy Defense Minister Volodymyr Havrylov said during an interview.
“They’re ready for communication to expand the contacts between Ukrainian and Chinese military leadership,” Havrylov said following his talks with Chinese officials. “I hope we will see some dynamics after the meeting.”
Indonesia Defends Ukraine Peace Plan, Says Asia Knows War’s Cost
Beijing has ramped up efforts to negotiate an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine as part of a wider blueprint spearheaded by President Xi Jinping. Beijing’s proposal includes a call for a cease-fire, something that Ukraine, the US and its allies have all rejected because it would effectively help Russia consolidate territorial gains.
Earlier on Saturday, Indonesia Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, passionately defended a new peace proposal for Ukraine that would leave Russian forces locked in place, saying Asian nations know the costs of war as well or better than their European counterparts.
That offer was dismissed by Reznikov, who said during a panel discussion earlier that “it sounds like a Russian plan, not an Indonesian plan.”
“We need to win this war, after that we will negotiate with the Kremlin regime or new leader,” he added.
Ukrainian officials were also in touch with the US delegation “on several occasions” during the conference in Singapore, Havrylov said, including a meeting between Reznikov and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday.
“We have their full support,” he said.
--With assistance from Rebecca Choong Wilkins and Jamie Tarabay.
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