Europe needs rational voices for promoting peace talks on the Ukraine crisis, not continuous military support: experts
Published: Mar 25, 2023 02:34 PM Updated: Mar 25, 2023 05:42 PM
US' game of manipulation Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

US' game of manipulation Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The EU has approved its first ever joint purchase of ammunition worth two billion euro ($2.17 billion) as part of its military support for Ukraine. Experts warned the continuous military support will not help to solve the core issue of Ukraine crisis and what Europe needs is rational thinking and voices for promoting peace talks and political settlement of the Ukraine crisis in order to help it get out of the dilemma.  

European Union leaders endorsed the plan on Thursday for sending Ukraine one million rounds of artillery ammunition within the next 12 months to help the country counter Russia's forces, the Associated Press reported.

The continuous military support to Ukraine will not help to solve the core issue, experts warned. Some rational European leaders apparently are also aware of this as they are falling over each other to come to China, seeking a peaceful and effective solution for the issue as the US showed no interest in ending the Russia-Ukraine conflict and helping the Europe get out of the economic and social crisis. 

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Thursday he will fly to Beijing for talks next week. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, will follow on a longer-planned trip on April 4, according to Politico. 

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Thursday, Sánchez described China as a "top-tier global actor" and said their meeting would also "obviously" include discussions about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, The Guardian reported.

Both Europe and China want to reach consensus and enhance their cooperation facing challenges, the US' interference only reflects that its aim is to preventing the two sides getting closer, experts said. 

Before the approval of the EU joint purchase plan, the US had been actively making efforts trying to cajole the European leaders into its attempt to decouple and confront China - including hyping China-Russia ties and claiming framework offered by Beijing "would be one sided and reflect only the Russian perspective" and making groundless accusations over China supporting Russia in the war behind the scenes, but only ended up with receiving an "ambivalent at best" response, as per a Politico report.

"The Europeans have already experienced deep economic trauma because of cutting off Russia. They cannot imagine cutting off China," Heather Conley, a former State Department official overseeing European and Eurasian Affairs in the George W. Bush administration, was quoted as saying by Politico. 

The US and Europe used to dream of ending the conflict in a short period by supplying increasingly lethal arms and weapons to Ukraine and by waging an economic war against Russia. Their aim is evidently to drag down Russia until it collapses, Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times.

This approach apparently has failed, but Europe is already entangled and finds it a difficult dilemma to solve if they continue to follow the US' steps, according to experts.

China's stance to promote peace talks has formed a stark contrast to the US' behaviors that go against peace such as fanning the flames and deflecting the blame. Especially given the landmark agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran mediated by China to resume diplomatic ties and reopen embassies and missions within two months after seven years of no diplomatic ties between the two, some rational European politicians have looked to the East and become more confident that China can play a better role in solving the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to Wang Huiyao, president of nongovernment think tank the Center for China and Globalization.

The accusation of China taking sides on the Russia-Ukraine issue is also against the facts. 

On Thursday, Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, held phone talks with Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic counselor to French President Emmanuel Macron at the latter's request, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

The Chinese side hopes that France and other European countries would also play their due role in promoting peace talks on the Ukrainian issue, Wang said, adding that ceasefire, resumption of peace talks and political settlement of the crisis should become the strategic consensus between China and Europe.

For his part, Bonne expressed appreciation for China's positive role in promoting peace talks. On the Ukrainian issue, France does not support camp confrontation, he said. Both France and China want a political and negotiated end to the crisis, he said, adding that France is willing to make joint efforts with China to push for a ceasefire and find a peaceful solution.

On March 16, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang held a phone call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

During the call, Qin stressed that China upholds an objective and impartial position on the Ukraine issue, and remains committed to promoting peace talks, Kuleba thanked China for providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, and noted that China's position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis shows its sincerity in promoting a ceasefire and an end to the conflict. Kuleba expressed the hope to maintain communication with China.  

At a press conference on Wednesday, John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications at the White House, said "We don't support any effort to - to decrease the sense of isolation that Putin has already experienced from the international community.  We don't support any effort to bolster his economy or make it any more healthy.  We don't support any effort by anybody to make it easier for him, financially or otherwise, to continue to slaughter Ukrainians," when commented on a recent joint statement between China and Russia on economic cooperation before 2030. 

China-Russia relations feature a principle of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party. Mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries is good for the two peoples and the world. Such cooperation is open and aboveboard, which is a sharp contrast to US hegemonism and bullying, and the small, selfish and exclusive blocs it has set up, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a routine press conference on Friday in response to Kirby's remarks.

China is playing a constructive role in solving the Russia-Ukraine crisis while the US, however, has been fanning the flames and thwarting other countries' efforts for peace talks, which makes people question its real motives, Mao said.