Chinese diplomat suggests moves to end war

Wang Lutong, Director General of the Department of European Affairs, speaks during a news briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, Saturday, April 2, 2022.

BEIJING — A Chinese diplomat has a suggestion for resolving the Ukraine conflict: U.S. President Joe Biden should call Russian President Vladimir Putin and promise there will be no further NATO expansion, no deployment of strategic weapons in Ukraine and that the country will remain neutral.

“Then maybe the issue will get sorted,” director general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of European Affairs Wang Lutong told reporters in Beijing on Saturday.

“What is the purpose of the Americans? Are they going to see a cease fire in Ukraine or they would like to weaken Russia? Or some people are talking about a change in the government,” Wang said, in an apparent reference to Biden’s remark that Putin cannot be allowed to remain in office.

“If they are intent about a cease fire, I think this issue could be sorted very easily,” Wang said. His remarks followed talks between Chinese and EU leaders at which Beijing reiterated its opposition to punishing economic sanctions against Russia.

Beijing has refused to criticize the Russian invasion, or even refer to it as such, opposes sanctions and rebroadcasts Russian misinformation about the conflict and unfounded claims such as that the U.S. is operating bioweapons laboratories in Ukraine.