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China urges ceasefire, peace talks to end Ukraine war

China urges ceasefire, peace talks to end Ukraine war

China urges ceasefire, peace talks to end Ukraine war

China urges ceasefire, peace talks to end Ukraine war

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  • China reiterates the call for a ceasefire, and peace talks to end the Ukraine war.
  • China positions itself as a leader advocating for the interests of developing nations.
  • China tries to portray itself as a peacemaker, but its neutrality is questioned due to its close ties with Russia.
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China has restated its stance that a ceasefire and diplomatic negotiations are the sole means to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, initiated by Russia’s comprehensive invasion in February 2022.

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“Cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks is the only way to settle the Ukraine crisis,” Vice President Han Zheng told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its annual meeting.

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China has endeavored to portray itself as a mediator for peace and a neutral party in the conflict, despite its reluctance to denounce Moscow for its invasion.

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In February, marking the war’s first anniversary, China published a position paper outlining approaches to resolve the conflict, yet these suggestions were met with a tepid reception in both Moscow and Kyiv.

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China, one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, wants to “continue playing a constructive role”, Han added. He did not elaborate.

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During his visit to Moscow this week, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi assured his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that China would maintain an independent and impartial stance regarding Ukraine while actively seeking a political resolution to the conflict.

China’s attempts to mediate and facilitate a resolution to the Ukraine conflict have faced considerable obstacles, given the skepticism surrounding its professed neutrality, particularly due to its deepening ties with Russia.

In March, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow included meetings with Vladimir Putin and the celebration of a “new era” of cooperation, and Putin has reciprocated by accepting an invitation to visit China next month.

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Additionally, in his address at the United Nations General Assembly, Han, a lower-ranking official, reiterated China’s vision for an alternative global order that is free from what China has long criticized as “Western hegemony.”

In reaching out to developing nations worldwide, he emphasized that China, as the world’s second-largest economy, sees itself as an integral part of the Global South.

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“As the largest developing country, China is a natural member of the Global South. It breathes the same breath with other developing countries and shares the same future with them,” Han said.

He also said China supports those nations’ development path “in keeping with their national conditions”.

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The term “Global South,” which lacks a precise definition, has been prominently featured at this year’s United Nations sessions and is typically used to encompass nations from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

China has positioned itself as a leader advocating for the interests of developing nations, bolstering this claim over a decade ago with the launch of President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to promote Chinese development, infrastructure, and influence primarily in developing economies.

China ranks as the world’s second-largest economy, trailing only the United States, boasting a GDP of $18 trillion.

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Notably, President Xi was among four leaders representing permanent members of the Security Council who did not attend this year’s gathering.

French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Russia’s President Putin also chose to skip the event, leaving U.S. President Joe Biden as the sole leader from a permanent Security Council member to deliver an address at the assembly.

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