China called for a ceasefire and peace talks between Ukraine and Russia in a vaguely worded proposal that analysts said was unlikely to deliver results, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Photo Insert: Beijing claims to have a neutral stance in the war that began one year ago, but has also said it has a “no limits friendship" with Russia and has refused to criticize its invasion of Ukraine.
Beijing claims to have a neutral stance in the war that began one year ago, but has also said it has a “no limits friendship" with Russia and has refused to criticize its invasion of Ukraine, or even refer to it as an invasion.
It has accused the West of provoking the conflict and “fanning the flames” by providing Ukraine with defensive weapons.
By keeping mum on whether Russia invaded Ukraine or not, China’s “peace plan” appears to deodorize Russia’s aggression and weaken Ukraine and force it to swallow Russian President Vladimir Putin’s guff, Huizhong Wu also reported for AP.
The plan released by China’s Foreign Ministry mainly reiterated long-held positions and neither Ukraine nor Russia is likely to agree to have Beijing play a mediating role.
It calls for the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries” to be respected, but does not say what will happen to the territory Russia has occupied since invading Ukraine.
It also calls for an end to “unilateral” sanctions on Russia, indirectly criticizes NATO expansion and condemns threats of nuclear force.
The proposal is “an attempt for public relations on the part of China,” said Li Mingjiang, a professor and international security expert at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
“I’m not convinced that this policy is going to improve their credibility in being an honest broker,” Li said.
Speaking after China issued the paper, but without referring to it, Zhanna Leshchynska, charge d’affaires at the Ukrainian embassy in Beijing, said her country does not want peace at any price.
“We will not agree to anything that keeps Ukrainian territories occupied and puts our people at the aggressor’s mercy,” Leshchynska said in an address at the EU mission to China.