China to send envoy to Ukraine to promote political settlement: Official

China has announced that it will send a special envoy to Ukraine and other countries to promote a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, which came after a phone conversation Wednesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In a briefing after the phone call, the deputy chief of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of European-Central Asian Affairs, Yu Jun, said China wants to make sure the crisis does not result in a nuclear war.

“As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible major country, China would not sit idly by, nor would it add oil to the fire, still less exploit the situation for self gains. No one wins a nuclear war, and when dealing with the nuclear issue, all parties concerned should maintain calmness and restraint, bear in mind the future and destiny of ourselves and all mankind to jointly manage the crisis,” said Yu.

“China will send a special representative of the Chinese government on Eurasian affairs to visit Ukraine and other countries to conduct in-depth communication with all parties on a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” he said.

Reuters reported that analysts have warned that China’s ability to be a peacemaker in the Ukraine conflict should not be overestimated due to its deep relationship with Russia, which raises questions about China’s neutrality.

“It is uncertain whether China can persuade Putin or whether Xi Jinping can influence Putin,” said Alfred Wu, associate professor at the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore as quoted by Reuters.

The 14-month war is at a critical juncture, with Ukraine preparing to launch a counteroffensive following a Russian winter offensive that made only incremental advances despite bloody fighting.