China reiterates need for talks, negotiated settlement to Ukrainian crisis

In a 12-point proposal, China criticized Western sanctions on Russia and asked the world community to shed its “cold war mentality” and address the “security interests and concerns” of all countries involved

February 24, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Russia-Ukraine war
(Photo: Victor/Xinhua)

On the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine on Friday, February 24, China issued a 12-point proposal for peace, emphasizing the need for immediate resumption of talks between Ukraine and Russia and asking the world community to refrain from any kind of provocative acts.

Confirming its commitment to “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries,” China, in a document titled ‘China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis’ published on its Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, said that all countries should adhere to international laws—including the principles of the UN charter—and that their “equal and uniform application […] should be promoted” without any double standards. 

It noted that the “international community should stay committed to the right approach of promoting talks for peace.”

Hinting that NATO’s expansionist policy was one of the reasons for the beginning of the war, China asked the West to abandon its “cold war mentality” of “expanding military blocs” and seeking security at the cost of others. 

China has voiced its opposition to the West—namely, the US, the EU, and other NATO members—providing weapons to Ukraine, claiming that such acts would only prolong the war and would not help in achieving peace in the region. 

The US and other NATO countries have sent hundreds of billions worth of weapons to Ukraine so far. During the UN General Assembly vote on the Russia-Ukraine war on Thursday, China reiterated this point, claiming that weapons supplied to Ukraine would “only exacerbate tensions.” 

The UNGA adopted a resolution asking Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine by a vote of 141-7 with 32 abstentions, including from countries like China and India. 

Other points of the Chinese proposal included its opposition to all nuclear escalation. It said that the world should act to avoid any such possibility, and oppose any move towards increased nuclear proliferation. 

China also criticized all unilateral sanctions imposed by the US and the EU on Russia, saying that such acts “cannot solve the issue” and only “create new problems.” China claimed that it opposed all attempts to use the world economy “as a tool or weapon for political purposes.” 

It made an appeal to the world community to ensure that humanitarian operations were not “politicized,” and instead “[followed] the principle of neutrality and impartiality.” China also expressed its willingness to participate in post-war reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.