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Ugly role of US thrown into stark relief: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-03 21:24

A man looks at a crater formed by recent shelling in the course of Russia-Ukraine conflict near a restaurant building in Donetsk, Feb 25, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

With the majority of the world pinning high hopes on Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui taking advantage of his visit to Moscow to effectively de-escalate the tensions in the Ukraine crisis, as he did last time, it should not be forgotten that this represents the second time China has sought to help clear up the mess of the West's making.

That Li wrapped up his two-day visit to Kyiv on Wednesday, before arriving in Moscow on Sunday, hopefully means that he can help the two conflicting sides compare notes on their respective concerns and find some common ground on which a footing can be found for talks exploring ways to end the fighting.

As China maintains constructive relations with both Ukraine and Russia and has remained neutral throughout the crisis, Li's shuttle diplomacy bears the hopes of many in the international community that his efforts can help promote a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

The fact that the conflict has evolved into a protracted war of attrition, inflicting a heavy loss of life on both sides, and that there has again been talk of nuclear weapons being used, raise the practical value of Li's pro-peace efforts this time.

Both Moscow and Kyiv are well aware that bringing an end to the conflict as soon as possible is not only what Beijing wants but is also in line with both their interests and accords with the common expectations of the international community in general. The exceptions being those Western countries who are seeking to prolong the conflict to further their own agenda.

That the insistence of these United States-led countries that there can be no talks until Russia is defeated is tantamount to ordering the Ukrainians to fight to the last man in pursuit of that objective. Their crocodile tears for the loss of Ukrainian lives cannot disguise the fact that they see it as just the necessary price that needs to be paid to achieve that end. In their eyes better Ukraine pay the price than them.

Nor should it be forgotten that Moscow raising the prospect of a nuclear war has been in the context of suggestions that NATO may join the fray by putting troops on the ground.

As was the case in May, except for pointing a blaming finger at Moscow for "taking the initiative to escalate the situation" — as if they were innocent — and vowing a tit-for-tat nuclear attack retaliation, these Western countries are making no effort to de-escalate the situation.

The US has never stopped attributing the crisis to what it alleges is China's support of Russia's "war effort". It should now be clear to all that it is simply an attempt to divert people's attention from the US being the main beneficiary of the crisis — perhaps the only one — and thus the main hand behind the conflict's escalation and prolonging.

The nastier the conflict becomes, the more evident the ugly role the US is playing in it is.

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