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Beijing making unswerving pro-peace efforts: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-05-29 20:04

In an interview with New Statesman magazine last week, it was put to ambassador Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Mission to the European Union, that "there is this opinion in Europe that China is on Russia's side".

"Frankly speaking," he responded, "I don't agree with that assessment."

While acknowledging that Europe has some misgivings about the proposition, he said, "I don't see how you can have durable peace if the legitimate security concerns of all sides are not taken fully into consideration."

Pointing out that China has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Fu talked about China's stance, stressing it was trying to seek a way to put a stop to the fighting. Citing a report which said that the average survival time of a Ukrainian soldier on the battlefield in Bakhmut is four hours and pointing out that it is probably not any better for the Russian side, he stressed that the first imperative has to be to stop the fighting, which has become like that of World War I — thousands killed to advance a few inches.

China has been talking to both Russia and Ukraine, consistently urging both sides to put an immediate stop to the fighting and start negotiations on a political settlement. It is to this end that China's special representative for Eurasian affairs Li Hui has just concluded his visits to Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia.

In stark contrast to China's approach, the United States and some of its allies have been constantly prolonging the fighting by supplying Ukraine with evermore sophisticated weapons and military equipment and other assistance. At the same time, they are also targeting Russia on the economic front by continually intensifying sanctions. Soon after their summit in Japan, in which they re-rallied behind the United States, the G7 countries approved new sanctions against Russia, and the EU is mulling its 11th round of sanctions against the country this week.

With the US' proxy war against Russia now one of attrition, the longer the crisis continues, the more bloodshed both sides will have to endure and the higher the cost all parties involved will have to pay. There are also signs that the conflict is exacerbating the divisions in the EU as it is proving to be increasingly difficult for it to gain unanimous support from its members for the sanctions against Russia.

The EU should recognize that sanctions and military aid will only prolong the senseless killing and reduce the space for diplomatic efforts to broker negotiations on the complicated issues that need to be resolved for an enduring peace settlement.

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