China’s Initiative for a Peaceful Settlement in Ukraine Requires Political Wisdom

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 26, at the latter’s initiative, opened up a new window of opportunity for a negotiated solution to the crisis, and with it, a step away from the nuclear brink. The Chinese President committed to sending a special envoy to the region for in-depth discussions with all parties, and his Ukrainian counterpart welcomed China’s role and the “productive conversation”.

Less than 24 hours later, the British establishment had sent to Kyiv a delegation to squash the idea of a peaceful settlement, including among others former MI6 Chief Sir Richard Dearlove, neocon Tobias Ellwood, and former high official of NATO Gen. Richard Shirreff. Just one day later, Ukrainian Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak gave an interview spouting the British line, and demanding China break with Russia, or lose its influence worldwide. Add to that the recent call by the City of London’s The Economist in favor of delivering F-16s to Kyiv, as well as the saber-rattling from the Royal United Services Institute.

Meanwhile, there continues to be much hype around the “spring offensive” of the Ukrainian (de facto NATO) forces, and the counter-attacks from the Russian side. But the Chinese initiative is likely to have a deep, although discreet, impact.

In that context, an April 27 editorial in the semi-official Global Times provided fascinating insight into how China’s diplomacy works and Xi’s unique capability to unravel the the confrontation between the West and Russia. The daily explains that the history behind the conflict is complex, and that a solution requires “enormous political wisdom, patience, and perseverance.” It recalls that since “the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China’s efforts to promote a political resolution of the Ukraine crisis have never stopped”, as reflected in Xi’s “Position Paper on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis” (cf. SAS 9/23), and that “China maintains good communication with all parties”.

The editorial then comes to the heart of the matter: “Different from the ‘dual’ approach advocated by some in the US and the West, China provides a different path full of Eastern wisdom. It sees the Ukraine crisis as a complex and difficult-to-untangle web…. It is possible to slowly untangle the knots one by one, and ultimately achieve a comprehensive ‘escape’ from the crisis. Gradually decomposing complex contradictions, patiently and steadily reaching the core of the problem requires enormous political wisdom, patience, and perseverance….” But “as time goes by, many countries, including Russia and Ukraine, as well as others in Europe, have gradually recognized or partially accepted China’s proposed solution. There is also an increasing number of voices within the US that are saying, ‘The world should listen to China’s voice.’”

In essence, Xi’s method coheres with the tenth point of “Ten Principles of a New International Security and Development Architecture” proposed by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, which states that “man is fundamentally good and capable to infinitely perfect the creativity of his mind and the beauty of his soul… and that all evil is the result of a lack of development, and therefore can be overcome.” (cf. SAS 48/22).

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