WASHINGTON/TALLINN: The West reacted with scepticism to China’s proposal on Friday (Feb 24) – the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – for a ceasefire, with NATO saying Beijing did not have much credibility as a mediator.
“Any proposal that can advance peace is something that’s worth looking at. We’re taking a look at it,” United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on ABC’s Good Morning America programme.
“But you know, there are 12 points in the Chinese plan. If they were serious about the first one, sovereignty, then this war could end tomorrow,” he said.
“China has been trying to have it both ways: It’s on the one hand trying to present itself publicly as neutral and seeking peace, while at the same time, it is talking up Russia’s false narrative about the war.”
Blinken added that China had been providing non-lethal assistance to Russia through its companies, and reiterated a charge that Beijing was “now contemplating lethal assistance”.
Speaking to reporters in Estonia, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg noted that Beijing had signed an agreement with Russia, only days before its invasion of Ukraine a year ago.
“China doesn’t have much credibility because they have not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said China had not shared a peace plan but some principles.
“We will look at the principles, of course, but we will look at them against the backdrop that China has taken sides,” she said.