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China calls on Europe to support its Ukraine peace proposal

China calls on Europe to support its Ukraine peace proposal
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend a welcome ceremony before the Russia-China talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on 21 March 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Sergey Karpuhin / Sputnik / Pool)

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi urged Europe to play a role in supporting peace talks for Russia’s war in Ukraine, though the US has warned Beijing’s proposals would effectively freeze the Kremlin’s territorial gains. 

“China looks forward to France and other European countries to also play their due role,” Wang told Emmanuel Bonne, a diplomatic adviser to the French president, in a phone call on Thursday.

“A cease-fire, stopping the war, resuming peace talks and a political settlement of the crisis should become the strategic consensus between China and Europe,” Wang said, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The call came just after President Xi Jinping capped off a state visit to Russia, where President Vladimir Putin pledged even closer ties and hailed Beijing’s proposals for ending the fighting. Xi has sought to reboot his image as a global statesman, with China helping to secure a deal to improve ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia and announcing its own plan for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine.

That proposal would freeze Russian troops in place on Ukrainian territory, a non-starter for Kyiv. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed to continue fighting until they depart. Moscow has shown no sign of stopping its attacks, and continues to claim portions of eastern Ukraine and Crimea as its territory after referendums widely denounced as illegal on annexation.

The US and its allies have rejected the Chinese initiative as biased toward Russia. However, US officials worry that dismissing China’s proposal outright could send a message that Washington isn’t interested in peace.

Many countries are “playing more of a hedging game because anything that might move toward peace in Ukraine is something that everyone is willing to listen and give time to no matter which quarter it comes from,” said Raffaello Pantucci, a senior fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

“There is a risk, however, that its attractive diplomatic noise, as a cease-fire, without any meaningful movement behind it is just a freezing of the conflict in its current state.”

Spain’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced he would travel next week to China to speak to Xi about the proposal to negotiate a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will begin a five-day visit to China on Sunday, and French President Emmanuel Macron said he would visit in early April to push Beijing to help end Russia’s war in Ukraine. BM/DM

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  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Who in their right mind could possibly take Xi Jinping seriously? This is nothing but a callous, incestuous and vacuous PR exercise designed to give a some respectability and legitimacy to the monstrous and murderous Putin thug. He goes to Moscow, but not to Kiev!!! Is that the actions of an honest peace broker – clearly favouring one side, and the one that has caused such death, destruction, rape, terror and brutality, and ILLEGALLY invaded a neighbour. All this proposal will do is freeze the situation, leaving the vile Putin in possession of what he has illegitimately stolen and rewarding him accordingly. It will be like South/North Korea where there is no peace and they are still officially at war. Once the evil Putin has a respite, he will again build up his army and launch another war! No Xi Jinping, you are not a statesman at all, you are just another shallow communist apparatchik who closes rank with and supports the most odious “human being” on earth. Rather stay at home when proposing such blatantly false and hypocritical “peace” proposals. At this point, you are a sick joke!

    • Johan Buys says:

      100% Sergio!

      It is time Ukraine gets a fresh wave of new technology tanks and fighters, better missile defense systems, a few train loads of Javellin and most of all, offensive longrange missiles to take out Putin’s missile and artillery sites that hide inside Russia. It amazes me that Ukraine has not yet destroyed the russian gas pipelines that cross Ukraine – maybe now with Europe coming out of winter that will happen.

      There can be no solution without Russia also paying for the devestation it caused in its unprovoked attack.

      If not, Russia will just be India and China’s little cheap energy colony for a few more years.

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