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Friday, June 09, 2023, 17:44
China steps forward as responsible global actor
By Imran Khalid
Friday, June 09, 2023, 17:44 By Imran Khalid

Beijing’s efforts to bring end to Ukraine crisis show deep commitment to world stability 

“The Chinese envoy dispatched to push Beijing’s peace plan for Ukraine carried a clear message: US allies in Europe should assert their autonomy and urge an immediate cease-fire, leaving Russia in possession of the parts of its smaller neighbor that it now occupies, according to Western officials familiar with talks in capitals across the continent,” were the opening lines of an article in the Wall Street Journal on May 26. However, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was quick to take to the social media to dismiss such presumptions promptly. 

In a video released on the very day of the WSJ article, Kuleba revealed that he had reached out to European diplomats who had engaged with the Chinese special envoy, Li Hui, during the latter’s trip to Europe last month. But none of them could substantiate the claims put forth in the media report. 

According to Kuleba, the diplomats categorically refuted the notion that the subject of recognizing Russia’s control over the occupied Ukrainian territories was broached during their interactions with the Chinese envoy, casting doubts on the veracity of the media narrative. 

Emphasizing the need for level-headedness, the Ukrainian foreign minister called on all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from impulsive reactions fueled by media speculations. He further asserted that Ukraine maintains a relationship of trust with all its key partners, including China, and stressed that Kyiv will continue to maintain communication and dialogue with Beijing in regard to the Ukraine conflict. 

The WSJ narrative is a reflection of the thick layer of bias and prejudice that has enveloped the Western thinking on China and its growing role as a peacemaker in the global hot spots.

On June 2, Li, China’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, held a press briefing in Beijing, shedding light on his diplomatic endeavors that took him to Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia last month. The peace mission marked China’s first direct involvement in seeking a political resolution to the Ukraine crisis. Li underscored China’s unwavering stance, emphasizing the nation’s commitment to fortifying dialogue and communication with all stakeholders. 

Encouraging the international community to embrace comprehensive consensus, Li emphasized 

China’s earnest contribution to advancing a political settlement to the Ukraine crisis, embodying Beijing’s commitment to global stability. 

Li’s trip and efforts toward facilitating peace talks and carving a political resolution to the Ukraine crisis have garnered recognition and appreciation from key players including Ukraine and Russia, as well as all the European capitals that he visited. 

During Li’s visit, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen voiced the aspiration for convening a major peace summit in July, while emphasizing that the involvement of China is crucial for its success. Rasmussen’s call for China’s engagement underscores the growing acknowledgment of China’s diplomatic prowess and the belief in its potential to shape positive outcomes on the global stage. 

With remarkable finesse, China has commanded attention by orchestrating a diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Iran, facilitating the restoration of diplomatic ties and fostering economic collaboration.

China’s diplomatic prowess extends beyond this achievement, as the country has actively engaged in conflict negotiations in various hot spots, including Afghanistan, Myanmar and Ethiopia.

But some parties in the United States and West are continuously besmirching China’s genuine pursuit of peace. Unfairly, they are attempting to muffle China’s commendable efforts by baselessly insinuating against Beijing. Rather than acknowledge China’s proactive engagement in seeking a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine crisis, these hawkish Western elements perpetuate a misguided narrative that undermines the sincere intentions behind China’s pursuit of peace in Ukraine. 

When, in February, President Xi Jinping released a 12-point Ukraine peace paper, there were similar skeptical murmurs in the West. Ironically, While China upholds a principled approach, the US, a self-proclaimed champion of peace and democracy, has displayed a self-centered position in regard to the Ukraine crisis. In stark contrast to China’s commitment, Washington has demonstrated a self-interested disposition, raising questions about its proclaimed dedication to global harmony and democratic values.

The US’ fervent pursuit of NATO expansion, coupled with the massive arms supply to Ukraine and implementation of sanctions against Russia, unmistakably indicate an agenda of containing Moscow. These actions expose Washington’s vested interest in perpetuating a prolonged conflict, rather than actively seeking a peaceful resolution. It becomes evident that the US aims to keep Russia entangled and diminish its influence on the Eurasian geopolitical stage. Regrettably, this approach will only exacerbate the toll of human suffering and amplify destruction. 

Washington’s relentless indulgence in great power games undermines efforts to bring an expeditious end to the crisis or the restoration of much-needed peace in Ukraine. Rather than fostering a cooperative environment, such actions further aggravate tensions and hinder the prospects of a genuine and enduring resolution. 

It is imperative to reevaluate the course of action and prioritize diplomatic efforts that promote reconciliation, mutual understanding, and the well-being of the affected populations. A shift towards a more constructive and inclusive approach would provide a ray of hope for the people of Ukraine and pave the way for a sustainable peace. 

China’s unwavering commitment to upholding the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter has established Beijing’s reputation as a responsible global actor. Demonstrating its dedication to fostering international security, China’s visionary Global Security Initiative (GSI) has emerged as a beacon of hope. The GSI, based on a proposal first outlined by President Xi in April last year, has prioritized the elimination of underlying factors that fuel conflicts, thereby enhancing global security governance. 

By advocating for multilateral cooperation and collective action, China seeks to instill stability and certainty in an era marked by volatility and change. Special envoy Li’s trip to European capitals is one part of the multi-faceted approach of Beijing to help resolve the Ukraine crisis, which has seriously endangered global peace and economic stability. 

The author is an international affairs commentator and freelancer based in Karachi, Pakistan. 

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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