BEIJING (AP) — China, a staunch ally of Russia, has called for a cease-fire between Ukraine and Moscow and the start of peace talks as part of a 12-point proposal to end the conflict.
The plan, released by the State Department on Friday morning, also urges an end to Western sanctions imposed on Russia, measures to ensure the safety of nuclear facilities, the creation of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians, and steps to ensure the export of grain after unrest. Caused global food prices to rise.
China has claimed it is neutral in the conflict, but has a “borderless” relationship with Russia and has refused to criticize its invasion of Ukraine for being referred to as such, while accusing the West of provoking and “stoke conflict”. flames ”by providing Ukraine with defensive weapons.
China and Russia have increasingly aligned their foreign policies to oppose the US-led liberal international order. Foreign Minister Wang Yi reaffirmed the strength of those relations when he met Russian President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Moscow this week.
The US has also accused China of possibly preparing to provide Russia with military aid, something Beijing says lacks evidence.
Given China’s positions, that casts doubt on whether its 12-point proposal has any hope of moving forward — or whether China is seen as an honest broker.
Before the proposal was put forward, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it an important first step.
I think, in general, the fact that China is starting to talk about peace in Ukraine, I think it’s not a bad thing. “It is important for us that all countries are on our side, on the side of justice,” he said at a press conference Friday with the Spanish prime minister.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier on Thursday that the United States would retain power but that China’s loyalty to Russia meant it was not a neutral intermediary. He said, “We would like to see nothing more than a just and lasting peace…but we are skeptical that reports of a proposal like this would be a constructive way forward.”
Price added that the United States hopes that “every country that has a relationship with Russia other than the one we have will use that leverage to meaningfully and beneficially push Russia to end this brutal war of aggression. (China) is in a position to do that in ways we don’t.”
The peace proposal elaborated on China’s long-established positions, including noting the need to “effectively guarantee the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.”
He also called for an end to the “Cold War mentality” – the standard term for what it views as US hegemony and interference in other countries.
The proposal stated that “the security of any country cannot be at the expense of the security of other countries, nor can regional security be ensured by strengthening or even expanding military blocs.” “The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and appropriately addressed.”
China abstained on Thursday when the United Nations General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution calling on Russia to end hostilities in Ukraine and withdraw its forces. It is one of 16 countries that either voted against or abstained from all five previous resolutions on Ukraine.
The resolution, drafted by Ukraine in consultation with its allies, passed 141-7 with 32 abstentions, sending a powerful message on the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion that appears to leave Russia more isolated than ever.
While China has not publicly criticized Moscow, it has said the current conflict is “not something it would like to see,” and has repeatedly said any use of nuclear weapons would be completely unacceptable, in an implicit rejection of Putin’s statement that Russia would use “all available means.” to protect its territory.
“There are no winners in conflict wars,” the proposal states.
“All parties should maintain rationality and restraint… Support Russia and Ukraine to meet with each other, resume direct dialogue as soon as possible, gradually encourage de-escalation and de-escalation of the situation, and finally reach a comprehensive ceasefire,” the statement read. .
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