China has reaffirmed its support for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict.
Calling for the restart of peace negotiations and the lifting of unilateral sanctions.
China’s position paper is not a proposal for peace, but Ukraine praised it.
China has reaffirmed its support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict as Beijing comes under increasing criticism from Washington and its allies over its expanding ties with Moscow.
Friday saw the issuance of a position paper from China’s Foreign Ministry, which reiterated the country’s opposition to the use of nuclear weapons and calls for the restart of peace negotiations and the lifting of unilateral sanctions.
The 12-point plan is a part of Beijing’s most recent attempts to position itself as a neutral peace broker as it juggles its deteriorating relations with the West and its “no-limits” relationship with Moscow as the war grinds on.
“Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control,” the paper said.
By refusing to recognize the nature of the conflict—it has so far refrained from using the word “invasion”—and by supporting Moscow diplomatically and economically, Beijing’s claim to neutrality has been badly damaged.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities have refuted allegations that they are considering offering Russia deadly military support, which has alarmed Western leaders.
The policy document reiterates many of China’s standard talking points, which include urging both sides to resume peace talks.
“Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” it said, adding that China will play a “constructive role,” without offering details.
Furthermore, although stating that “sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all countries must be successfully preserved,” Russia’s violation of Ukrainian sovereignty is not mentioned in the treaty.
The language in the paper seems to be primarily directed at the West. The article stated that the “Cold War attitude” should be dropped in a thinly veiled critique of the United States.
“The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs.
The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly,” it said, apparently echoing Moscow’s view the West provoked the war through the expansion of NATO.
It also appears to criticize the wide-ranging economic sanctions imposed by the US and other Western countries on Russia. “Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems,” it said.
“Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ against other countries, so as to do their share in deescalating the Ukraine crisis.”
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the war “might end tomorrow if Russia stopped bombing Ukraine and withdrew its forces.” American authorities promptly slammed the report.
“My first reaction to it is that it could stop at point one, which is to respect the sovereignty of all nations,” Sullivan told Media.
“Ukraine wasn’t attacking Russia. NATO wasn’t attacking Russia. The United States wasn’t attacking Russia. This was a war of choice waged by Putin.”
According to reputed media outlet, Jorge Toledo, the European Union’s ambassador to China, stated to reporters during a briefing in Beijing that China’s position paper was not a peace proposal and that the EU is “studying the paper seriously.”
While Ukraine praised the position paper as “a welcome step,” it asked China to take additional action.
“China should do everything in its power to stop the war and restore peace in Ukraine and urge Russia to withdraw its troops,” Ukraine’s Chargé d’Affaires to China Zhanna Leshchynska said at the same briefing in Beijing.
“In neutrality, China should talk to both sides: Russia and Ukraine, and now we can see China is not talking to Ukraine,” she said, noting that Kyiv was not consulted before the release of the paper.
According to reputed media outlet, Jorge Toledo, the ambassador of the European Union to China, said that the EU is “closely analyzing the paper” and that China’s position paper is not a proposal for peace.
Ukraine, on the other hand, praised the position paper as “a welcome step” while urging China to go farther.
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