Western politicians have responded apprehensively to the impending release of a Chinese peace plan for Ukraine this week.
China’s senior diplomat Wang Yi, one of the few external politicians able to influence Russia, declared at the Munich Security Conference that China would launch its peace plan on the anniversary of the conflict and has already consulted with Germany, Italy, and France regarding its proposals.
He stated that the peace plan would emphasize the need to maintain the UN Charter and the values of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Nonetheless, he stated that Russia’s legitimate security interests must be acknowledged.
While remaining cautious in their reactions to the news, major lawmakers hailed the move as the first indication that China recognized the war cannot be viewed as a purely European matter.
Annalena Baerbock, the German foreign minister, applauded China’s action, stating, “As a permanent member of the UN security council, China has an obligation to use its influence to secure world peace.”
Diplomats who have been briefed by China are uncertain as to how detailed Beijing intends to be or whether the strategy will revert to the vagueness over peaceful solutions that is characteristic of Chinese diplomacy. A attempt by China to depict the West as belligerents could find resonance in the global south.
China is aware that there is a receptive audience in the global south if it calls for dialogue and peace.
“We have to try to make a solution possible. We cannot limit ourselves to talking about the war. I am not referring to immediate negotiations – we would have to go step by step, perhaps first create an environment that makes a negotiation possible,” said Mauro Vieira, the Brazilian foreign minister.
Namibian prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa said: “We want to solve the problem, we don’t want to find the culprit. It is of no use that Russia is spending money on weapons and the west is financing Ukraine to buy weapons.”