‘China stands firmly on the side of peace, dialogue’
Recently, the Chinese government released a documents that highlights China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis. The Daily Times engaged Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Long Zhou, on on the issue. Excerpts:
Recently, Chinese government released China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, what are the highlights of this document?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China recently issued China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, proposing a solution that addresses both symptoms and root causes of the crisis. It shows the objective and just position on the merits of the matter itself and reflects China’s deep sense of commitment and responsibility for the contribution to address global challenges.
The paper covers 12 aspects, namely, respecting the sovereignty of all countries, abandoning the Cold War mentality, ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, resolving the humanitarian crisis, protecting civilians and prisoners of war, keeping nuclear power plants safe, reducing strategic risks, facilitating grain exports, stopping unilateral sanctions, keeping industrial and supply chains stable, and promoting post-conflict reconstruction.
China would like to build on the Position Paper, work with the rest of the world and play a constructive role in the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
Why does China release the Position Paper now?
The Ukraine crisis happened in Europe but its impact has spilled over the wider world. Malawi’s economy is also suffering from the continuing effects of the crisis, I believe we all know it well and do not want it to continue. As the full escalation of the Ukraine crisis reaches its one-year mark, China released the document to actively promote peace talks and play a constructive role in facilitating the resolution to the crisis including addressing the negative impact of the crisis on global trade and economy. China believes that all parties, especially major countries, should act in a responsible manner, create conditions conducive to peace talks, and make more efforts on political settlement rather than fan the flames or profit from the situation.
Which side does China support in the crisis?
The Ukraine issue has a complex historical context. On this issue, China has all along upheld an objective and just position, actively promoted peace talks, and determined our position on the merits of the matter itself. We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue, that is, the right side of history. President Xi Jinping pointed out that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be upheld, the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises must be supported, which outline China’s fundamental approach to settle the issue. Conflicts and wars produce no winner, and there is no simple solution to a complex issue. Confrontation between major countries must be avoided. This points the right way forward for the de-escalation of tensions and political settlement of the crisis.
In which way can China’s Position Paper help in resolving the crisis?
After releasing, China’s Position Paper has received wide supports and positive responses from the international community, including the parties concerned. For example, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the document issued by China represents “an important contribution”. “We share the views of China and highly value the aspiration of our Chinese friends to contribute to a settlement of the conflict in Ukraine through peaceful means”, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed that some elements of the “Chinese peace plan” may become the basis for discussion on the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the Position Paper is an example of China’s pursuit of a foreign policy of peace as well as a “new and original measure” that will have far-reaching significance.
How is China’s Position Paper related to Malawi?
The impact of the Ukraine crisis is global and far-reaching. At present, global industrial and supply chains are under stress due to various external factors including the Ukraine crisis. Malawi was also affected deeply. China calls on all parties to fully and effectively implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by the UN, Russia, Ukraine and Türkiye in a balanced manner, and make joint efforts to facilitate the settlement of crisis at an early date. However, in dealing with the crisis, we still see that some countries keep resorting to unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure, which in no way help solve any issue, but can only exacerbate the global food, energy and financial crises. We hope that the relevant parties take responsible actions and stop abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, and effectively safeguard the security of the global major commodities supply chain.
As a good friend and partner of Malawi, China is willing to further deepen the practical cooperation between the two countries and do its utmost to support Malawi to overcome difficulties, develop the economy and improve livelihood of the Malawian people.