After avoiding once again to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the UN and after Wang Yi ensured the momentum of the strategic alliance with Russia during his visit to Moscow this same week, the Government of the People’s Republic of China has published this morning a 12 principles proposal to move towards peace in Ukraine, positioning itself in some way as a willing impartial mediator for a peace process in the conflict.
The Chinese proposal includes in its first point an ambiguous reference on the point of keeping respect for the territorial integrity of all States, whether large or small, without mentioning the territorial integrity of which States it specifically refers to when applying it to peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
On the other hand, China has not stopped affirming over and over again that the strategic alliance with Russia is based on not targeting third countries.
On his side, Volodymyr Zelenskyy (President of Ukraine) had already presented his own Peace Formula in 10 points including the need for a complete exit from the territory of Ukraine by the Russian army. This means all of Donetsk and Luhansk territories as welll as Crimea.
Before knowing the content of the Chinese 12 point peace plan, Volodimyr Zelenskyy said yesterday he considered positive the fact that China started to talk on finding a peaceful end for Russian invasion on Ukraine and that he wanted to talk with President Xi on the matter.
But the call of President Zelenskyy is more related to attracting China to support the 10 point Peace Formula for Ukraine proposed by him on 15th November 2022 at the G20 Summit in Bali (Indonesya) than related to joining the peace proposal issued this morning by the PRC. I’ll remind our readers that Zelenskyy’s 10 point Peace Formula was already rejected by Russia as it involved withdrawing Russian troops fom the Donsbass region and Crimea.
China is not credible as a neutral mediator, says von der Leyen and Stoltenberg
During the joint press conference offered by Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission), Kaja Kallas (Prime Minister of Estonia), NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Tallin (Estonia) both the President of EU Commission and the NATO Secretary General were crystal clear on the fact that the PRC was not a credible mediator in this conflict because China took side signing a strategical partnership with Russia just before Russia started off the invasion of Ukraine on February 2022.
Ursula von der Leyen (President of the EU Commission) said: “On the peace plan for Ukraine presented by China today: It is not a peace plan but a principles state that they shared you have to see them before an specific backdrop and that is the backdrop that China has taken side by signing for example an unlimited friendship write before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started. So we will look at the principles, of course, but we will look at them against the backdrop that China has taken side”.
Jens Stoltemberg (NATO Secretary General) added: “Then, the propposals and the points presented by China. First of all China doesn’t have much credibility because they have not been able to condenm the illegal invasion of Ukraine. And thwy also signed, days before the invasion, an agreement between President Xi and President Putin on limitless partnership with Russia. So I think what we see now in Ukraine is that President Putin is not prepared for end war is prepared for the exact opposite, for more war, for more offensives and therefore most likely this war is at some stage will end at a negociating table, but if we want a peaceful solution, we need to also realize what happens around that negotiating table. It is wholy deppending on the strength and the situation on the battlefield. So meaning that if we want a peaceful negotiated solution where Ukraine preveils as asovereign and independent nation, then we need to support Ukraine military now. Because this is the only way to create the conditions where President Putin realize that he will not win on the battlefield, he has to sit down and accept Ukraine as an independent sovereign nation in Europe. So military support today is the way to achieve a peaceful agreement tomorrow.”
Being a member of the UN Security Council, China should not send any military support to Russia
“On the supply of military support from China to Russia”, Stoltenberg explaines, “we have not seen any actual delivery of ilegal aid, but what we have seen are signs and indications that China may be planning and considering to support with military aid to Russia. And China should not do that, because that would be to support an illegal war agresion breaching international law and violating UN Charter, and China is a member of the UN Security Council and they have a particular responsibility to protect the UN Charter and this is a war aggression violating exactly that Charter.”
They should think what they have done for the political settlement instead of making comments that have no factual basis, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin
“As for the comments you mentioned (by ursula von der Leyen and jens Stoltenberg ), I think facts speak for themselves. After the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, President Xi Jinping put forward four principles, called for joint efforts in four areas and shared three observations on Ukraine, which point the right way forward for promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. China also proposed a six-point initiative on preventing a large-scale humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Today, we released China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.
All these speak to China’s commitment to promoting peace talks. It would be important for the people you mentioned to think about what they have done for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis instead of making comments that have no factual basis. Who exactly are committed to seeking peace? And who have been creating and escalating the tensions?, ” that was the answer issued by Wang Wenbin (Spokesperson of the PRC’s Foreign Affairs Ministry) to EU and NATO declarations on China not being a credible mediator between Russia and Ukraine to end the war.
“It is our consistent position that all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis should be encouraged and supported. China would like to build on the position document, work with the rest of the world, and play a constructive role in the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,”……” I would like to say that the Ukraine issue has a complex historical context. On this issue, China has all along upheld an objective and just position, actively promoted peace talks, and determined our position on the merits of the matter itself. We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue, that is, the right side of history,” he repeated again and again and accused NATO of being a product of the Cold War mentality that leads to antagonism and confrontation; causing troubles in Asia-Pacific region.”
On the principle of not applying a double-stardard to judge and solve conflicts, which is included in the Chinese 12 point peace proposal, Wenbin underscored: “Applying double-standard will backfire. The US stresses the need to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, yet it is exactly the US that has wantonly violated other countries’ sovereignty, grandstanded on the Taiwan question and blatantly interfered in China’s internal affairs. Such double standard has been rejected and opposed by most members of the international community.”
Image over the headline.- Dead civilian in Bucha following the massacre by the Russian army. Image by Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine through Wikimedia Commons. To watch the original photo and read the terms of the lisense, click here
Related Eastwind links:
The Ukrainian 10 points Peace Formula
China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis
One year of war in Ukraine.- Tourism sector calls to end the conflict, renews its support to Ukrainian people and gets ready to play a key role to rebuild the country
“The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership is based on non-targeting of third countries”, says PRC’s Councilor Wang-Yi
Putin secures China’s political support with agreement on 10Bn cubic metres gas supply on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022
Related external links:
Press confernece offered by Ursula von der Leyen (President of the EU Commission), Jens Stoltenberg (NATO Secretary General) and Kaja Kallas (Prime Minister of Estonia) -Video-
Regular press conference of Wang Wenbin (Spokesperson of the MOFA of the PRC)-trnscription in English-
Press conference offered by Volodymyr Zelenskyy on 24-02-2023 (transcription in English)