Ukraine news: Understanding China’s 12-point peace proposal

Taipei, Taiwan –

A year into the war between Russia and Ukraine, China has a dozen proposals to end the war.

The proposal follows China’s recent announcement that it seeks to act as a mediator in a war that has revitalized Western alliances that Beijing and Moscow see as rivals. A top Chinese diplomat suggested the plan would be unveiled at a security conference in Munich, Germany this week.

With its release, President Xi Jinping’s government reiterates China’s claims of neutrality despite thwarting UN efforts to condemn the aggression. The document reflects Russia’s claim that the West was responsible for the February 24, 2022 invasion and criticizes sanctions against Russia.

At a meeting in Munich, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed skepticism about Beijing’s position before the plans were announced. He said China provided non-lethal support to Russian President Vladimir Putin in his war effort, and that the US had information that Beijing was “considering providing lethal support.” Stated. China called the allegations “slanderous” and said it had no evidence.

What did China propose?

China’s proposal calls for a ceasefire, peace talks and an end to sanctions against Russia.

China held the sanctions on other “relevant countries” without naming them. These countries should “stop abusing unilateral sanctions” and “contribute to mitigating the crisis in Ukraine,” it said.

Many of the 12 points were very general and contained no specific suggestions.

It says that the sovereignty of all countries should be upheld, without mentioning Russia or Ukraine. He did not disclose what Ukraine and its land would look like after Russia occupied Crimea in 2014.

The proposal also condemns the “Cold War mentality” that often refers to the United States and its military alliance with Europe, NATO. “Regional security should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs,” the proposal said. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a promise that Ukraine would not join the bloc before the invasion.

It also calls for securing nuclear power plants and facilitating grain exports, without elaborating on ceasefires, peace talks, protection of prisoners of war, and cessation of attacks on civilians.

“The basic tone and basic message of the policy is quite pro-Russian,” said Li Mingjiang, a professor of Chinese foreign policy and international security at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Will China Help Russia in War with Ukraine?

China has made conflicting statements about its stance. Russia says it was inspired by NATO’s eastward expansion, but maintains its neutrality on the war.

The Russian attack comes after Xi and Putin attended the opening ceremony of last year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, where they issued statements that the two governments had an “unbounded” friendship. China has ignored Western criticism and reaffirmed its promises.

Putin said he expected Xi to visit Russia in the coming months. China has yet to confirm it.

Blinken said Sunday on NBC that China is “trying to make it happen both ways.”

“Publicly, they call themselves a country striving for peace in Ukraine, but privately, as I said, they have supported Russia’s war effort over the past few months. We have already seen the provision of non-lethal assistance directly linked to agitation.”

Did China provide assistance to Russia?

China’s support for Russia has been largely rhetorical and political. Beijing has helped thwart attempts to denounce Moscow at the UN. There is currently no public evidence that it is supplying Russia with weapons, but the US has said China has already provided non-lethal assistance and may do more. .

At a conference in Munich, Mr. Blinken said the United States had long worried that China would arm Russia. “There is information that worries them that they are considering providing lethal support to Russia,” he said.

Blinken said he had expressed to Chinese envoy Wang Yi, who attended the meeting, that “this is going to be a serious problem.”

The NATO secretary-general said Wednesday that he had seen some indications that China might be ready to provide weapons, and warned that he would support violations of international law.

Russian and Chinese militaries have been conducting joint exercises since the invasion. Recently, she has conducted joint exercises with the South African Navy on routes off the South African coast.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has questioned China’s attempt to send deadly aid to Russia.

“If China helps them, I think it will be more like clothes, not weapons,” Reznikov said Monday in Kiev.

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