søndag 19. februar 2023

Chinese peace plan for Ukraine greeted cautiously by the west

Western leaders have reacted nervously to a Chinese peace plan for Ukraine due to be revealed this week, but cautiously welcomed the move as a first sign that China recognises the war cannot be regarded solely as a European affair.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, China’s senior diplomat Wang Yi, one of the few external politicians able to influence Russia, announced that China would launch its peace initiative on the anniversary of the war, and has already been consulting Germany, Italy and France on its proposals. He said the peace plan would underscore the need to uphold the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the UN Charter. But at the same time he said the legitimate security interests of Russia needed to be respected.

Diplomats who have been briefed by China are unclear how specific Beijing intends to be or whether the plan will lapse into vacuities about peaceful solutions that are sometimes a feature of Chinese diplomacy. A Chinese move to portray the west as warmongers could find echoes in the global south.