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War in Ukraine: what the Chinese "peace plan" really contains


FOCUS - On February 24, China unveiled its "position on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis" in twelve points. Vladimir Putin said he was ready to discuss it during Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow.

China's position in the war in Ukraine has never ceased to be ambiguous.

From the very first days of the Russian invasion, the Middle Kingdom made a point of always abstaining from voting in the UN General Assembly, never condemning the invasion, while calling for a conflict resolution.

A way of sparing the goat and the cabbage, and of placing oneself in the position of mediator.

On Monday, newly re-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled for a state visit to Russia, praising the strength of their bilateral partnership.

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On this occasion, Vladimir Putin said he was ready to discuss the "peace plan" proposed by Beijing to settle the conflict in Ukraine.

We are always open to a negotiation process.

We will undoubtedly discuss all these issues, including your initiatives, which we treat with respect

,” the Russian president said.

Read alsoHow Russia became the “new vassal” of the Middle Empire

This document published on February 24 is in fact not a "

peace plan

" strictly speaking.

It is also entitled: “

China's position on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis


Le Figaro

returns to the 12 points of this text, which rather constitutes a catalog of good intentions and a way for China to place its pawns.

Defuse the War

Respect the sovereignty of all countries:

in its first point, China calls for respect for "

universally recognized law, including the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter


Namely: “

the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries


This assumption therefore also applies to Russia.

But the Kremlin claims to respect this principle, because for it, the annexed territories are an integral part of Russian sovereignty.

Read alsoFaced with the American “encirclement”, Xi Jinping leads the counter-offensive in Moscow

Abandon the Cold War mentality:

In its second point, China believes that "

one country's security should not be sought at the expense of others

" and that "

a region's security should not be achieved by strengthening or by enlarging military blocs


This position is clearly aimed at NATO, which wishes to soon integrate Finland, bordering Russia, and even Ukraine in the longer term.

It is above all about the discourse that the Kremlin held before launching the invasion of Ukraine.

Cease hostilities and resume peace talks:

in these third and fourth points, China takes the posture of mediator, calling for a "

comprehensive ceasefire

" and the resumption of "

dialogue and negotiation

" to "

open the door to a political settlement as soon as possible


But these two points look like a pious wish, as the requirements of each are, for the time being, totally incompatible.

On the one hand, Moscow demands that Ukraine accept the “

new territorial realities

” and therefore Russian borders including the four Ukrainian oblasts.

On the other hand, Kiev demands the restoration of "

territorial integrity

“, therefore the return to the borders before the Russian invasion of February 24, 2022 and even before 2014. Two irreconcilable positions as long as one of the belligerents has not collapsed or that the two camps accept the idea that neither of them can win completely.

Reduce collateral risks

Solve the humanitarian crisis and protect civilians and prisoners of war:

in these fifth and sixth points, China believes that "

humanitarian issues should not be politicized

" and calls for the establishment of "

humanitarian corridors

" for the evacuation of civilians.

Beijing also asks the belligerents to "

avoid attacking civilians or civilian installations

", clearly aiming here at the Russian campaigns of massive strikes on energy infrastructure and on Ukrainian cities.

Read alsoThierry Wolton: “After the Russian-Ukrainian war, the new Chinese world order?”

Ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants:

in this seventh point, China clearly calls for not using Ukrainian nuclear facilities as military leverage.

The fighting around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is particularly affected by this request.

The infrastructure has been the target since February 24 of fierce clashes, which raise fears of a potential atomic accident.

Reducing strategic risks:


Nuclear weapons should not be used and nuclear wars should not be waged

", says China in its eighth point.

And to add: “

The threat or the use of nuclear weapons must be combated


This obvious principle is aimed at Russia and, to a lesser extent, the NATO countries with nuclear weapons.

But the Kremlin will be able to defend itself by considering that it has never explicitly threatened to use these weapons, since it has contented itself since the beginning of the war with evoking the use of “

all its available arsenal

”. ..

save the world economy

Facilitate grain exports:

in its ninth point, China calls on “

all parties to implement the Black Sea Grains Initiative signed by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN


A piece of advice which those concerned are happy to do without, since the agreement has already been extended on March 18, Turkey announced.

Stop unilateral sanctions:

the tenth point of the Chinese document directly targets the West.

According to the Middle Kingdom, “

unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the problem


He therefore calls to “

stop abusing

” these retaliatory measures.

If China takes such a firm position on this point, it is because the sanctions against Russia also affect it.

And that she could in turn be struck by it, if she were to become more deeply involved in the conflict.

Read alsoAnd if, finally, China did not overtake the United States?

Maintaining the stability of industrial and supply chains:

in this eleventh point, China also takes into account its own case.


All parties must sincerely uphold the existing global economic system and oppose the use of the global economy as a tool or weapon for political purposes

," she wrote.

This proposal, which concerns the areas

of "energy, finance, food trade and transport

" is closely linked to the previous one, as it also affects China.

Promoting post-conflict reconstruction:

with this twelfth and final point, China again wants to show its role as a major nation, anticipating the post-war period.


China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role in this endeavour

," she said.

While Ukraine is already trying to mobilize its international allies on the subject, Beijing intends to bring its stone to the building, to weigh a little more on the world stage at the end of the conflict.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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