Analysis: How China’s Plan for Ukraine Brings Peace and Self-Interest

by Joshua Brown
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The leader of China, Xi Jinping, has a difficult task if he wants to help stop the 14-month-long war in Ukraine. The biggest problem is that neither side suggests they are ready to finish fighting.

China’s leader, Xi Jinping, recently announced in a phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he is sending an envoy to Ukraine. People are hoping this will allow China to use its friendly relationship with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to help bring peace. But some worry that Beijing’s main goals are more about their own interests than really stopping the invasion they won’t criticize.

In February, China released a plan to end all conflict between Russia and other countries. It said that everyone had to stop fighting and work together to solve the problem. Also, it pointed out that Western countries were responsible for the troubles in this region.

China is hoping that the war will end soon since its economy has been negatively impacted by price increases in things like wheat, oil, and other commodities. Furthermore, Beijing made an announcement about the worrisome potential for nuclear war when Russia declared that it would move atomic weapons to Belarus. John Delury from Yonsei University in Seoul pointed out that China desires for the conflict to end because it is against its own self-interests.

China doesn’t want either Russia or Ukraine to win or lose, they just want both countries to stop fighting. China thinks the best outcome would be a truce and an economic opportunity for helping Ukraine repair the damage done in the war. Russia has taken control of Crimea, a piece of land near the Black Sea, but China didn’t say anything about that.

Beijing’s Attempts to Repair Relations with Europe Backfires, Strengthening US Allies

China’s leader, Xi, believes that the United States is trying to prevent China from becoming powerful. As a result, Beijing is hoping to strengthen their relationship with European countries by showing that they are friendly. But recently a Chinese ambassador said something not so nice about Ukraine and other nearby countries like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania that angered Europe. So, Beijing is now trying to make peace and repair things with Europe.

Leaders like French President Emmanuel Macron have visited Beijing and asked for assistance with Ukraine. This shows how difficult it is for the U.S. to get their allies in line against China’s actions around the world.

Alexander Gabuev from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that China wants to cause problems between America and its European partners and makes itself look like some sort of peacemaker.

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently talked with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy, possibly to get China involved in the war in Ukraine. However, experts think that even if China gets involved, it will remain neutral towards Russia.

China Draws a Line Against Russia’s Actions in Ukraine War

By making the announcement, Beijing can show that they don’t always follow Moscow even though this difference might not be easy to spot by people in the West. People there say China helps Russia stay away from sanctions done by Western countries by buying Russian oil and gas and also providing them political support.

The Chinese government thinks of the Kremlin as a partner in trying to avoid US control of affairs worldwide. They use their position as one of the five members of UN Security Council to block any activities from censuring Russia.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin declared that their countries had a very close friendship without any limits just before the war started in February 2022. In March, both of their navies practiced together with Iran.

However, China said that it was not allied to either country involved in the Ukraine War and promised not to give either nation military supplies.

Da Wei, from Tsinghua University in Beijing, said that “China is trying to remain unbiased and impartial.” He also mentioned that Western leaders have had direct communication with both parties in the current crises, indicating China’s efforts to promote peace.

China said on Wednesday that they highly value respecting each other’s sovereignty and keeping borders unchanged. Russia has been trying to change the borders of Ukraine, but China is strongly against doing this as they believe that no country should be allowed to get involved in another nation’s issues.

China Positioning Itself as a Global Mediator

China wants to be respected as an important leader in many areas like politics, economy and culture, so by positioning itself as a mediator the Chinese government can take on a bigger role in how global affairs are managed.

In March, President Xi said that China should help build the global system of rules and regulations and try to make sure everyone around the world is safe. The government released a plan in February that said it is willing to work with different countries to ensure safety on an international scale.

In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran stopped fighting after Chinese-led talks. This year, China’s leader is helping to create peace in the Middle East, security for everybody there, and also helping African countries with their disagreements. If China succeeds at this, it makes Xi Jinping look powerful around the world.

China has changed its approach from spending many years focusing on building its economy to now getting involved in other countries’ issues. But, even though its trying to make peace with countries around it, China still has disputes with its neighbours about land and is threatening to attack Taiwan – an island that China wants to control.

China’s Attempt to Make Peace in Ukraine

Ukraine’s government said that a call between their President and Chinese President Xi might help make peace in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy also asked President Xi to come to Ukraine, but we don’t know if Xi will take the invitation. Even with this phone call, political experts don’t think things will get better as Ukraine is starting a military operation to take back land occupied by Russia.

Unfortunately, Russia and Ukraine are still very far away from solving their problem as it will take a lot of time. Shi Yinhong from Renmin University in Beijing said that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed finding a peaceful solution is almost impossible. On the other hand, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy wants all the lost territories to be recovered.

“China tried to help end the war, but neither side was very successful in achieving their goals,” said Shi. Joe McDonald has been working at Big Big News in China since 1997. Wanqing Chen and Andrew Katell also contributed to this news story. If you want to read more stories from Asia-Pacific, check out the link https://bigbignews.net/asia-pacific.

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