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Beijing's position on Ukraine crisis is unambiguous, brooks no manipulation: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-06-04 20:11

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an unscheduled appearance at the Shangri-La defense forum in Singapore on the weekend. Given the mounting pressure on the battlefield, it is understandable that he should use the occasion to try and canvass more support for Kyiv at a summit in Switzerland later this month aimed at bringing an end to the conflict.

What isn't understandable is why he should unwarrantedly claim that China is trying to sabotage the upcoming peace talks.

While China announced last week that it will not attend the Summit on Peace in Ukraine organized by Switzerland, that does not mean China is trying to sabotage the summit or trying to pressure other countries not to participate, as Zelensky claimed.

Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made China's position clear, saying it has repeatedly stressed that the international peace conference needs to satisfy three important requirements, namely, recognition from both Russia and Ukraine, the equal participation of all parties, and fair discussion of all peace plans. As far as China is concerned, the meeting in Switzerland does not meet these three requirements and that is why it will not be taking part in the meeting. 

True, it is not attending, but that does not mean it is not supporting Switzerland's peace initiative, for it remains in close communication with that country.

Unlike some countries which are attending but do not want the conflict to end, China has "never sat idly by or fueled the flames, still less profiteered from the conflict".

Trade between China and Russia is normal and above board. And unlike the NATO countries, China does not provide arms to the belligerents. The NATO countries have been supplying Ukraine with ever more sophisticated weapons systems, and it has been reported that more than 60 percent of the imported critical components in Russian weapons are coming from companies in the US and other Western countries.

It is common sense that a peace conference with the aim to resolve a conflict should involve the belligerent parties. But Russia has not been invited to the table. How then can the summit ensure that the views from different sides are taken into consideration.

Even Western media typically refer to the summit as being planned for months by Kyiv and its allies, so the likelihood of the summit being taken as nothing more than an opportunity to forge an even closer united front against Russia looms large.

Ukraine's deep reliance on the United States-led Western support should not blur its leader's sense of right and wrong, nor encourage him to make unfounded accusations against a friendly country.

The majority of countries want the protracted conflict in Ukraine to end. But a lasting settlement needs to be acceptable to both sides, otherwise any cessation of the fighting will only be a temporary respite.

Any NATO countries that are not genuinely seeking an end to the conflict, harboring the hope that the longer it continues, the more Russia will be weakened, are putting the world at risk of a more serious conflict by playing with fire, as Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

In his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun stressed that China is willing to work with all parties to protect the legitimate security interests of all countries.

It will therefore continue to support all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine conflict. To that end, it hopes that the summit will be taken as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the two sides, not a means to widen it. And it urges the participants not to turn it into a platform to create and fuel bloc confrontation, which will only exacerbate the volatile global situation.

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