What is China's peace proposal for the war in Ukraine
What is China's peace proposal for the war in Ukraine? A year into Russia's war on Ukraine, China has offered a 12-point proposal to end the war.
What is China's peace proposal for the war in Ukraine?
A year into Russia's war on Ukraine, China has offered a 12-point proposal to end the war.
The proposal follows China's recent announcement that it is seeking to act as a mediator in the war, which has reinvigorated Western alliances that see Beijing and Moscow as rivals. China's top diplomat hinted that the plan is coming this week at a security conference in Munich, Germany.
With its release, President Xi Jinping's government is repeating China's insistence on remaining neutral, despite blocking efforts by the United Nations to condemn the aggression. The document echoes Russian allegations that Western governments are responsible for the February 24, 2022 attack and criticizes sanctions on Russia.
At the Munich meeting, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed skepticism about Beijing's position ahead of the plan's release. He said China has provided non-lethal assistance that supports Russian President Vladimir Putin's war effort and said the United States has intelligence that Beijing is "considering providing lethal assistance." China called the allegation a "smear" and said it lacked evidence.
What has China proposed?
China's proposal calls for a cease-fire and peace talks and an end to Western sanctions against Russia. It said, "Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions" and "do their part to de-escalate the Ukraine crisis."
It said all countries should retain sovereignty, although it did not specify what that would be for Ukraine and the land it has taken from Crimea since Russia annexed it in 2014.
The resolution denounces a "Cold War mentality", scorning the US and the US-European military alliance NATO. "The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs," the resolution said. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a commitment that Ukraine would not join the bloc before the invasion.
Other points call for a ceasefire, peace talks, protection of prisoners of war and an end to attacks on civilians, securing nuclear power plants and facilitating grain exports.
Does China support Russia in its war against Ukraine?
China has made conflicting statements about its position. It said Russia was provoked into action by NATO's eastward expansion, but also claimed neutrality in the war.
Before the Russian attack, Xi and Putin attended the opening ceremony of last year's Winter Olympics in Beijing and issued a statement saying their governments' friendship "knows no bounds". China has since ignored Western criticism and reiterated that commitment.
Putin said he expects Xi to visit Russia in the next few months. China has yet to confirm it.
China is "trying to have it both ways," Blinken said Sunday on NBC.
"Publicly, they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine, but privately, as I said, we have already seen in these past months the provision of non-lethal assistance that directly aids and abets Russia's war effort. "
Did China support Russia?
China's support for Russia is largely rhetorical and political. Beijing has helped block efforts to denounce Moscow at the United Nations. There is no public evidence that it is currently supplying Russia with weapons, but the US has said that China is already providing non-lethal assistance and may do more.
Blinken said at the Munich conference that the United States has long been concerned that China will arm Russia. "We have information that concerns us that they are considering providing lethal aid to Russia," he said.
Blinken said he expressed to Chinese Ambassador Wang Ye at the meeting that "this would be a serious problem."
The NATO chief said on Wednesday that he saw some signs that China might be ready to supply weapons and warned that it would support violations of international law.
Since the attack, Russian and Chinese forces have conducted joint exercises, most recently with the South African navy in a shipping lane off the coast of South Africa.
Ukraine's Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov on Monday expressed doubt about US concerns.
“I'm not sure because Russia also needs helmets, life vests, etc. It (will be) like some kind of clothing,” Reznikov said in Kiev.