Document to highlight China's efforts in seeking peaceful solution to Ukraine crisis
Published: Feb 20, 2023 12:11 AM
Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, speaks at the Munich Security Conference on February 18, 2023 in Germany. Photo: AFP

Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, speaks at the Munich Security Conference on February 18, 2023 in Germany. Photo: AFP

Document on finding a political settlement to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, to be published by China soon, highlights Beijing's active efforts in pursuing peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, as the conflict been dragging on for a year and wrecking more havoc on global security and economy, Chinese experts, after a top Chinese diplomat on Saturday announced the releasing of the document at the 59th Munich Security Conference. Moreover, the document will inject much-needed sanity for the world's response on this crisis. 

Noting that the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine crisis is days away, Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, announced at the 59th Munich Security Conference (MSC) that China will publish a document on its stance of finding a political settlement to the crisis.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said the document will reiterate Chinese President Xi Jinping's important propositions, which stress that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to a peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported.

In the document, China will reiterate that a nuclear war must never be fought and cannot be won, Wang said, adding that China also urges efforts to ensure the security of civil nuclear facilities, stands against attacking nuclear power plants, and will advocate joint efforts to oppose to the use of biochemical weapons.

The more complex the situation, the greater the need to remain cool-headed and pragmatic, Wang said, stressing that China is willing to join hands with all parties to continue the efforts for realizing peace at an early date.

The document will highlight China's active role in pushing for a peaceful settlement that hopefully will bring an end to the conflict which has been dragging on for a year, Wang Huiyao, president of nongovernment think tank the Center for China and Globalization, who is also attending the Munich Security Conference, told the Global Times. 

Currently, it is difficult for all parties involved in the conflict to reach a consensus, but this conflict is wrecking havoc on the world, said Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He noted that China's proposals at the Munich Security Conference, as well as the about to be published document, tells the world that "China has been actively seeking a solution for the crisis. We are trying to bringing relevant parties to the negotiation table, and China is not sitting idle."

When meeting with Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba on Saturday, Wang Yi said that on the Ukraine issue, China always stands alongside peace and dialogue, and push for peace talks. "We don't want to see a prolonged and enlarged Ukraine crisis, and along with the international community, we're willing to prevent the situation from further escalating, Wang Yi noted, according to a readout released by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.

It quoted Kuleba as saying that China and Ukraine have maintained communication the whole year, and Ukraine attaches great importance to China's international status and influence, takes seriously China's stance on solving the crisis via political ways, and is looking forward to China's constructive role.  

Bringing sanity to chaos 

China's proposal of a solution to the ongoing crisis has received positive feedback from some European countries. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock welcomed China's effort to use its influence to foster peace but told reporters she had "talked intensively" with Wang Yi during a bilateral meeting on Friday about "what a just peace means: not rewarding the attacker, the aggressor, but standing up for international law and for those who have been attacked," according to media reports. 

Speaking at the conference, Wang Yi said that the Ukraine crisis is not what China would like to see. China is not a party directly involved, Wang said, noting that it did not choose to be a bystander or add fuel to the fire, still less exploit the crisis.

Wang Huiyao, who has met with people from European political think tanks, said that there's a growing concern in Europe about the consequences of the dragged conflicts, and would like to see the end of it. "Yet they [some Europeans] are not willing to sit down and talk, plus the US is backing the war to continue … Under such circumstance, China's proposal of peace talks is of much great importance." 

French President Emmanuel Macron called at the conference on Friday for an "intensification" of Western support for Ukraine, but he also underscored that peace negotiations were the ultimate goal. "None of us will change geography" and Russia is "on European soil," he said. Given that, "we will have to negotiate."

Europe is now mired in an irrational hatred and antagonism against Russia, said Zhang, giving example that the Munich Security Conference is focused on Europe's security, yet it excluded Russia from participating. "Such mindset is hard to bring Russia to the negotiation table," he pointed out.    

The West's supply of advanced weapons to Ukraine will inevitably provoke counterstrike from Russia, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times, noting that the Western squeeze may further pressure Russia to rapidly develop its weapons; "then the war will never end, and the whole Europe will be engulfed by war."

Despite multiple rounds of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, the peace talks ended without any result. "We are not aware of the reasons behind it," Wang Yi said, adding that it seems some forces might not wish to see a successful peace talk or an end to the conflict. Those forces "do not care about the lives of the Ukraine people, nor the damage taken by Europe," Wang said, adding that, instead they have a larger strategic goal.

In contrast to China's promotion of a peaceful solution, the US is trying its utmost to fan flames of the conflict, and trying to use the conflict to drive a wedge between Beijing and Brussels.   

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, US Vice President Kamala Harris said that Russia has committed "crimes against humanity" during its nearly year-long conflict with Ukraine, and that Russia was now a "weakened" country after Biden led a coalition to punish it. She also warned against Chinese support for Russia in the crisis with Ukraine. 

In a statement published by the China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday briefing about the meeting between Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Wang said China has been sticking to the principle and push for peace talks on the Ukraine crisis.

Bilateral relations between China and Russia are within the sovereignty of two independent countries, and that we never accept US finger-pointing or pressure on China-Russia relation. The US, as a big country, should rationally promote political solution of the crisis, not add fire to the fuel and seek benefits from the conflict, said Wang. 

"The US doesn't really care about if the crisis will be ended in peace or not. It so badly wants Russia to lose that it doesn't care whether such wish will be at cost of Ukrainian people's lives," said Zhang, comparing the crisis to a wound on the arm, "China's proposed solution is put some Chinese medicine to heal the bleeding wound, whilst the US wants to cut off the whole arm."