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China outlines position on Russia’s war, calls for peace talks

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 24, 2023 6:54 AM 2 min read
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China’s Foreign Ministry issued a 12-point statement on Feb. 24, outlining Beijing’s position on the “political settlement” of Russia’s full-scale war.

The statement called for the cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks, noting that China will “continue to play a constructive role in this regard.”

The plan, which coincides with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine, also called on all parties to respect the sovereignty of all nations, safeguard nuclear facilities, facilitate grain exports, and protect civilians and prisoners of war.

However, the statement also urged abandoning “the Cold War mentality” and “stopping unilateral sanctions,” rhetoric frequently used by Beijing to criticize the West’s reponse to Russia’s war.

The statement said that all parties should “oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security, (and) prevent bloc confrontation,” language China has used to potentially justify Russia’s alleged reasoning for engaging in the war.

On Feb. 18, during the Munich Security Conference, the Guardian quoted China's top diplomat Wang Yi as saying that his country would launch its peace initiative on the one-year anniversary of Russia's all-out war.

According to Wang, this plan will underline the need to respect the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the UN Charter, considering the security interests of all countries, including Russia. However, Western intelligence remains concerned that China could supply lethal aid to Russia, given Chinese officials' recent and planned trips to Moscow.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield called the possibility of China aiding the Russian war effort crossing "a red line" in an interview with CNN on Feb. 19.

On Feb. 23, German news outlet Der Spiegel said it had information indicating that Russia's military is discussing the mass production of kamikaze drones for Russia with Chinese drone manufacturers.

Earlier on Feb. 23, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. is considering releasing intelligence it believes shows that China is examining whether to supply weapons to support Russia’s war against Ukraine.

China's top diplomat in Moscow, meets with Russian foreign minister

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