What is China’s peace proposal to end the war in Ukraine?

China has offered a 12-point peace proposal to end the war in Ukraine, and Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Moscow next week. Wang Wenbin, spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said Xi’s visit to Russia – his first in nearly four years – was partly to promote “peace”.

The peace proposal is part of China’s push to try to act as a mediator in ending the Russian invasion. In it, Xi’s government reiterates Beijing’s claim of neutrality despite blocking efforts by the United Nations to condemn the invasion.

The document, which contains few details, echoes Russian complaints that Western governments are responsible for the February 2022 invasion and criticizes sanctions against Russia.

What has China proposed?

China’s proposal calls for a ceasefire and peace talks, and an end to Western sanctions against Russia, without naming specific countries. It says that “relevant countries must stop abusing unilateral sanctions” and “do their share in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis”.

It says the sovereignty of all countries should be maintained, although it does not specify what that would look like for Ukraine and the land it has taken since Russia took Crimea in 2014.

The proposal condemns a “Cold War mentality”, a rebuke of the United States and NATO, the US-European military alliance. “The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs,” the proposal said. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a promise that Ukraine will not join the bloc before the invasion.

Other points call for a ceasefire, peace talks, protecting POWs and stopping attacks on civilians, keeping nuclear power plants safe and facilitating grain exports.

The full list of 12 points that Beijing wants to follow are:

• The sovereignty of all countries is respected

• Letting go of the Cold War mentality

• Cessation of hostilities

• Resuming peace talks

• Solving the humanitarian crisis

• Protection of civilians and prisoners of war (PoWs)

• Keep nuclear power plants safe

• Reducing strategic risks

• Facilitating grain export

• Stop unilateral sanctions

• Keep industrial and supply chains stable

• Promoting post-conflict reconstruction

The plan has received lukewarm reception from both Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine has objected to Beijing’s proposals not to declare that Russia should withdraw behind the borders in place since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, though it later said it was open to “parts of the plan” .

Russia welcomed Beijing’s initiative and said it would make a “nuanced study” of the plan, but has also said it sees no sign of a peaceful solution for now.

Is China supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine?

China and Russia say their friendship has ‘no limits’

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China and Russia say their friendship knows “no boundaries”.

(Sputnik)

China has made conflicting statements about its position. It says Russia was provoked into action by NATO’s eastward expansion, but has also claimed neutrality in the war.

Prior to the Russian invasion, Mr Xi and Mr Putin attended the opening of last year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing and issued a statement that their governments had a friendship without borders.

Putin has said he expects Xi to visit Russia in the coming months. China has yet to confirm that.

China is trying to “get it both ways,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier.

“Publicly they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine, but privately, as I said, we have already seen non-lethal aid being provided in recent months that goes directly to Russia’s war effort. ”

Has China supported Russia?

China’s support for Russia has been largely rhetorical and political. Beijing has helped prevent attempts to convict Moscow at the United Nations. There is no public evidence that it currently supplies arms to Russia, but the US has said China already provides non-lethal support and may do more.

Blinken has said the United States has long been concerned that China would supply arms to Russia. “We have information that worries us that they are considering providing deadly support to Russia,” he said.

China’s Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi speaks during the Munich

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Chinese director of the Bureau of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, speaks at the meeting in Munich

((c) Copyright 2023, dpa (www.dpa.de). All rights reserved)

Russian and Chinese forces have held joint exercises since the invasion, most recently with the South African Navy in a shipping lane off the South African coast.

Bilateral trade has soared since the invasion and China is Russia’s largest buyer of oil, a major source of income for Moscow.

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