Ukraine news: China issues peace plan, Zelenskyy awaits details

Kyiv, Ukraine –

China called for a ceasefire and peace talks between Ukraine and Russia on Friday, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky cautiously welcomed Beijing’s involvement, but said success depends on actions, not words.

Beijing says it remains neutral in the war that started a year ago, but says it has “endless friendship” with Russia, criticizing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine refusing to do anything or even call it an invasion. It accuses the West of “fonding the flames” by provoking the conflict and providing Ukraine with defensive weapons.

“I don’t think the fact that China started talking about Ukraine is bad,” Zelensky said at a press conference on Friday. “But the question is what follows the words. The question is the step and where it leads.”

The plan announced by China’s foreign ministry largely reiterates a longstanding position, with analysts saying Beijing is unlikely to become a broker.

But some observers have warned that Ukraine and its allies must act with caution, and that China’s refusal of what it sees as a prelude to peace could lead Beijing to arm Russia instead. He said he could get closer.

Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Kiev-based independent think tank Pentacentre, believes that Zelensky will “try to play with China … to prevent China and Russia from getting closer.”

“As long as China continues its peacebuilding initiatives, it will be forced to remain neutral and refrain from supplying weapons and direct military assistance to Russia,” Fesenko told The Associated Press. .

Ukraine also said it could be a “scenario where China at least pressures Russia to contain its use of nuclear weapons and build mechanisms to control Ukraine’s nuclear power plants.”

On Beijing’s part, whether or not Kiev and Moscow are paying enough attention, they needed to clarify their stance, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University.

“China feels the need to repeat its self-perceived neutrality at this point in order to maintain international influence, not just by criticizing NATO, but by distinguishing it from Russia’s actions.

China’s proposal calls for respect for the territorial integrity of all nations, but does not mention what will happen to territories occupied by Russia since the invasion. It calls for an end, indirectly criticizes the expansion of the NATO alliance, and condemns the threat of nuclear weapons.

Li Mingjiang, a professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and an expert on international security, said the proposal was “a public relations attempt on the part of China.” “I don’t think this policy will improve their credibility as honest brokers.”

Russia’s foreign ministry welcomed the proposal and said it shares China’s views, including rejecting Western sanctions. At the same time, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that among the conditions for peace, Ukraine recognized Russia’s land acquisitions, renounced its participation in NATO and remained neutral. I reconfirmed the request.

Ukraine says it will not agree to any peace without returning all its territories.

Mikhail Podlyak, an adviser to President Zelensky, said the peace plan, which envisages only a ceasefire and allows Russia to continue occupying parts of Ukraine, is “not about peace, but about a freeze on war, a freeze on Ukraine. It’s about defeat, the next phase of Russian carnage,” he tweeted.

Ukrainian allies also expressed skepticism. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on CNN that his initial reaction to the proposal “could end with point one: respecting the sovereignty of all nations.”

“If Russia stops attacking Ukraine and withdraws its troops, this war may end tomorrow… This was the war of choice.”

German government spokesman Wolfgang Buchner said China’s proposal contained several key points but lacked one: “First and foremost, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.” Stated.

China abstained Thursday as the UN General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution calling on Russia to end hostilities in Ukraine and withdraw its troops.

Its 12-point peace proposal also calls for measures to prevent attacks on civilians, keep nuclear sites safe, establish humanitarian corridors and secure grain exports. It called for an end to “Cold War mentality,” China’s standard term for maintaining US hegemony and alliances such as NATO.

“Dialogue and negotiations are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” the proposal said. “China will continue to play a constructive role in this,” he said, without giving details of how the talks should take place.

Zelensky said Friday that his main goal is to prevent China from supplying Russia with weapons. He also expressed his hope that China’s involvement would help isolate Russia. “Our job is to get everyone together and isolate one,” he said.

He also said he would like to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying he “believes it will benefit the security of our country and the world.”

China’s proposal comes at a time when US-China relations have reached historic lows over disputes over Taiwan, trade and technology, human rights, and China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea.

The United States recently said China may be preparing to provide military aid to Russia.

On Friday, he referred to “massive disinformation in this regard against China.”

Wang told the German magazine Der Spiegel that the Russian military is negotiating with a small Chinese drone maker for “components and know-how” to produce about 100 suicide drones a month. was responding.


Associated Press reporters Huizhong Wu from Taipei, Taiwan; Geir Moulson from Berlin; Yuras Karmanau from Tallinn, Estonia; and Joanna Kozlowska from London contributed to this report.

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