August 7, 2023 Russia-Ukraine news

Representatives from China, the US, and Saudi Arabia attend talks to make a headway towards a peaceful end to Russia’s war in Ukraine, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on August 6. Saudi Press Agency/Reuters/Handout

The US State Department called China’s attendance at a meeting for restoring peace in Ukraine hosted by Saudi Arabia over the weekend productive.

“We have long said that it would be productive for China to play a role in ending the war in Ukraine, if it was willing to play a role that respected Ukraine’s territorial integrity and Ukraine’s sovereignty,” Matthew Miller, State Department spokesperson, said Monday.

Miller said that Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with China’s special envoy at the meeting to deliver that message as well.

Miller also noted that there is no particular nation “leading” the talks, as Russia has yet to show interest in peace negotiations with Ukraine, but that when the Russians did, it would be Ukraine leading.

China signaled that the peace talks went well: Earlier Monday, China said the two-day meeting, which took place in the Gulf kingdom’s port sea city of Jeddah, helped “to consolidate international consensus” on finding a peaceful solution to the conflict, Reuters reported, citing a Chinese foreign ministry statement. 

The talks brought together more than 40 nations, including Ukraine, the United States, European states, and the BRICS group of countries — perhaps none as closely watched as China, Russia’s most powerful ally. Kremlin officials said Russia had not been invited to the talks but was monitoring them, state media reported.