In a 12-point document issued by China’s foreign ministry on Feb. 24 morning, China laid out its position towards the “Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis”.
Feb. 24 marks the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The release of the document comes a day after the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution on Feb. 23 that demanded Russia to withdraw its troops and end the fighting in Ukraine.
The resolution was passed with 141 votes in favour and 32 abstentions, according to Reuters.
Ceasing hostilities & resuming peace talks
The paper released by China gave a summary on various peace suggestions, but appeared to support the non-escalation of the war, Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
China firstly called for the respect of all countries’ sovereignty in accordance with international law, as well as an abandonment of the “Cold War mentality”.
Admitting that there is “no simple solution to a complex issue”, the document advocated for a stable “European security architecture”.
The document also emphasised that all parties should support Russia and Ukraine in “resuming direct dialogue” as soon as possible to deescalate the situation.
It wrote that dialogue and negotiation were the “only viable solution” to the current crisis and that China is ready to facilitate and play a constructive role.
The paper also urged for more support for humanitarian operations and the protection of civilians in conflict zones.
Other notable points were the expression of its opposition towards “armed attacks against nuclear power plants” and reiteration of the non-use of nuclear weapons under any circumstance.
It also called for the end of unilateral sanctions, facilitation of grain exports and keeping the world economy stable.
The peace plan was apparently also discussed during a visit by China’s top diplomat Wang Yi to Moscow on Feb. 21, according to another report by Reuters.
Ukraine had expressed anticipation towards the peace proposal but said that before coming to any conclusions, it would first examine it thoroughly.
According to the Financial Times, China was attempting to achieve an “uneasy” balance and portray itself as a non-aligned big power in the war who is best-placed to be a peacemaker.
However, WSJ noted that some remain cautious of its peace suggestions due to the “no-limits” partnership between Russia and China.
In the earlier period of the conflict, China had also refused to directly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, preferring to keep a “neutral” position instead.
Top images by Dea Andreea & Brian Matangelo via Unsplash