China urges peace in Ukraine

​On Monday, China indicated it wanted to talk and find a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian situation, despite American concerns that Beijing would transfer weapons to Russia.

On Telegram, Mayor Oleksandr Symshyshyn reported air-raid sirens in Kyiv and other cities and a Russian missile that killed one person in Khmelnitskyi. Dawn signalled all-clear.

Beijing issued a 12-point plan last week urging for a truce and gradual de-escalation. China and Russia declared a “no limits” relationship a year before the invasion.

Kyiv welcomed several parts of the plan, but emphasising that peace requires a full Russian withdrawal, which Moscow rejects.

China’s foreign ministry has communicated with all parties, including Kiev, and its position is clear.

At a Beijing news conference, foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said​: “T​he core is to call for peace, promote discussion, and urge a political solution.​”​

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Chinese approach should be thoroughly evaluated and take into account the interests of all parties, but that Moscow saw no signs of a peaceful conclusion.

Our Chinese friends’ plans intrigue us. “This is a long and arduous process,” Peskov told journalists.

Advocates of Ukraine’s NATO military alliance say they are trying to persuade China not to help Russia’s slow invasion with “kamikaze” drones, but their efforts have failed.

Moscow’s forces are losing heavily in trench warfare in eastern Ukraine, and Kyiv is preparing a counteroffensive with sophisticated Western weapons, including combat tanks, promised in the coming months.

Over the weekend, CIA director William Burns said the American intelligence organisation believed China was considering military aid to Moscow.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned CNN that “if it proceeds down that road, it would come at a tremendous cost to China.”

This week, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed “new frontiers” in relations with Beijing and announced that Xi Jinping will soon visit Moscow, presenting the Ukraine crisis as a fight for Russia’s existence against a predatory West.

Putin told Rossiya 1 that their primary goal is to dissolve the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation.

NATO and the West disagree, saying Kyiv needs their help to prevent Russia from annexing its fellow former Soviet republic after Moscow declared it an artificial state.

Because he frames the conflict as an existential threat to Russia, Putin ​could use nuclear weapons in the future.

Former Russian president and Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev warned that the West’s armament of Kiev risked a ​”​worldwide nuclear catastrophe.​”​

Despite a year-long war that killed tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians on both sides and damaged Ukrainian cities, Russia claims to control close to 5% of Ukraine.

Russian forces have made only moderate headway in capturing eastern Donbas’ industrial sector despite being supplied by hundreds of thousands of conscripts and reservists.

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