China to offer political solution to help end crisis

2023-02-20 08:52:34China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Document will reiterate Xi's propositions to peacefully resolve Ukraine issue, Wang says

China will put forward a position paper on a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, senior diplomat Wang Yi said, as he urged peace efforts ahead of the first anniversary of the conflict.

"In the document, China will reiterate the propositions made by President Xi Jinping, including that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, the purpose and principles of the United Nations Charter should be observed, legitimate security concerns be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis be supported," said Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Wang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission, made the remarks on Saturday during a keynote address to the 59th Munich Security Conference in Germany.

He reiterated China's stance that a nuclear war must never be fought and cannot be won, and called on countries to jointly oppose the use of biological and chemical weapons.

China appeals to all sides to protect the safety of civil nuclear facilities and is firmly against any attack on nuclear power stations, he said.

While expressing deep concerns over the expanded and extended Ukraine crisis, Wang said China has been trying to "facilitate peace talks" and will "stand firm on the side of peace and dialogue".

"China is not a party directly concerned, but it does not sit idly by," Wang said, stressing the country does not "add fuel to the fire" and opposes "reaping benefits from this crisis".

President Xi proposed seeking a political settlement of disputes through dialogue the day after the outbreak of the conflict, and he has always maintained that conflicts and wars produce no winner, that there is no simple solution to a complex issue, and confrontation between major countries must be avoided.

Noting multiple rounds of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine have seen important progress, including a framework text on the peaceful resolution of the crisis, Wang expressed regret for the stalled peace talks.

He warned there are "some forces "that might not want to see peace talks materialize, saying they neither care about the lives of people in Ukraine, nor the harm inflicted on Europe, and they might have "bigger strategic goals". "The conflict should not continue any more," Wang said.

He said he hoped friends in Europe could think clearly about what efforts should be made to stop warfare, what framework is required to bring lasting peace and stability in Europe, and what role Europe should play to realize its strategic autonomy.

During talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on the sidelines of the conference on Saturday, Wang said China does not want to see the crisis extend to a large-scale, long-term conflict, and will work with the international community to strive for peace.

Kuleba said Ukraine attaches great importance to China's international status and influence, as well as its position on a political solution to the crisis, adding he expects China to continue playing a constructive role.

China has made intensive diplomatic efforts on the Ukraine issue. Wang, both on the sidelines of the annual international security gathering and during his ongoing European tour, which has already taken him to France and Italy, has reiterated China's position and exchanged views with his counterparts on the issue.

"The more complicated the situation is, the more urgent it is to adopt a calm and practical attitude, and the more protracted the flames of war are, the more countries can't give up peace efforts," Wang said.

Cui Hongjian, director of the China Institute of International Studies' European Studies Department, said the proposed release of a position paper shows China is a responsible major country.

Compared with Western countries increasing arms and munitions supplies on top of those already promised to Ukraine and intensifying sanctions against Russia, Cui said China does not provide any side with so-called support that may aggravate the conflict.

"Instead, Beijing tries its best to create favorable conditions for the settlement of the issue via negotiation," he said.

Noting that Beijing's position is based on experience, Cui said, "Though confronting security challenges, China, with the best peace and security record among the major countries, always adheres to resolving disputes by peaceful means.


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