China’s Initiative for Negotiations over Ukraine Undercuts NATO

China released on Feb. 24 its proposal for solving the conflict in Ukraine, which had been announced by top diplomat Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference and discussed with various leaders during his trip to Europe (cf. SAS 8/23). The short 12-point document, titled China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, presents a serious alternative to the approach of those who intend to prolong the war “for as long as it takes”, at the risk of escalation to a nuclear world war. It also confirms the Chinese leadership’s intention to play a more active role in international diplomacy.

We summarize the main points of the plan:

“1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries.” International law and the UN Charter must be observed, and the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld.” …

“2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality…. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly. There is no simple solution to a complex issue… All parties should oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent.”

“3. Ceasing hostilities.” All parties should support Russia and Ukraine “in resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually deescalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire.”

“4. Resuming peace talks. Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.”…

“5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis. All measures conducive to easing the humanitarian crisis must be encouraged and supported….”

“6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs).”

“7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe.”

“8. Reducing strategic risks. Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought.”

“9. Facilitating grain exports. All parties need to implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine and the UN fully and effectively in a balanced manner, and support the UN in playing an important role in this regard…. The cooperation initiative on global food security proposed by China provides a feasible solution to the global food crisis.”

“10. Stopping unilateral sanctions. Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems.”

“11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable.” All parties should “oppose using the world economy as a tool or weapon for political purposes….”

“12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction…. China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role in this endeavor.”

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