China's secure contribution to peace in Ukraine

Foreign Minister Wang Yi has comprehensively outlined China's position and proposal on the resolution of the current crisis in Ukraine

China's secure contribution to peace in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during a signing ceremony in Moscow, Russia, June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has comprehensively outlined China's position and proposal on the resolution of the current crisis in Ukraine, which can be summarised as four six-point commitments.

Dialogue and peace are to be promoted through four steps that must adhere to the purposes and principles of the United Nations’ Charter; respect and protect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity; adhere to the principle of indivisibility and security; and accommodate the parties' concerns about their own national security. The People's Republic of China - a recent friendly neighbour of Russia - insists on dialogue and negotiations to resolve disputes by all peaceful means. For China, it is important to focus on the long-term stability of the region and to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism.

The Ukrainian issue lies in complex and special historical situations. Only by addressing them firmly and considering the legitimate security concerns of the parties concerned in a thoughtful, rational and proper manner can the sacred rights of each country's sovereignty and territorial inviolability be effectively safeguarded and progress be made in bilateral dialogue and negotiations, so as to resolve the current crisis on the basis of achieving long-term stability for the region, with the construction of a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism.

Considering the unique complexity of the Ukrainian issue, the People's Republic of China is encouraging direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and a fair exchange of views between the United States, NATO, the European Union and Russia, urging the international community to provide the necessary strategic "patience" and continued cooperation until the two sides have jointly taken concrete actions to firmly restore the international system with the United Nations at its core.

China believes that, in the process of resolving the current Ukrainian crisis, the UN and the parties involved should take coordinated and effective action based on international law, with the short-term aim of promoting a diplomatic solution to the ongoing war. Sanctions have never been a fundamental and effective solution to a problem. When the parties’ legitimate security concerns are not addressed, recklessly putting strong pressure with large-scale sanctions is tantamount to adding fuel to the fire and only affecting the populations.

As Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed, the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security needs to be upheld, while relinquishing the idea of exclusive and absolute security for one side and insisting on ending conflicts through negotiation. It is imperative to strengthen mutual trust and build a world of lasting peace together.

The Chinese Six-Point Initiative is aimed at preventing a large-scale humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Minister Wang Yi has stressed that the top priority in the Ukrainian crisis is to alleviate the situation on the ground as much as possible, to prevent the conflict from escalating or even spiralling out of control. The Six-Point Initiative, proposed by the People's Republic of China for this purpose, demonstrates the country's clear position, and the global mindset of China's diplomacy.

Avoiding the politicisation of humanitarian issues - and not turning it into propaganda for one side only - is important to ensure the safe, timely and smooth development of humanitarian operations. With a view to reaching this goal, the Six-Point Initiative emphasises - in a comprehensive and balanced manner - that all parties concerned must adhere to the principles of neutrality and impartiality in the conduct of humanitarian operations, and that the United Nations should play a key coordinating role in the humanitarian sphere to assist Ukraine, so as to facilitate the development of humanitarian operations, through the deployment of efficient channels that point in the right direction.

The different groups most affected by the situation in Ukraine and most in need of humanitarian assistance have different practical concerns, which determine the different priorities of response strategies, based on the actual needs of representative groups such as displaced persons, civilians and foreigners in Ukraine.

On the Chinese side, Minister Wang Yi solemnly announced that the Chinese Red Cross Society would provide Ukraine with emergency humanitarian aid as soon as possible. The intense commitment shows China's humanitarian concern and is a clear example of China's continuing efforts to overcome the humanitarian crisis.

Safeguarding national interests through pro-people diplomacy. Protecting national interests has always been the fundamental task of China's foreign affairs.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ukraine in 1992, Ukraine has become China's third largest trading partner in Eurasia after Russia and Kazakhstan, and China has also become Ukraine's largest trading partner. The two parties have achieved fruitful cooperation in the fields of science and technology, education and culture, and have maintained close exchanges of personnel. As the situation in Ukraine has changed, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has immediately activated the emergency consular protection mechanism and has maintained close communication with all sides. It has also coordinated with both sides and has taken multiple measures to try to initiate a peace dialogue.

Firstly, Minister Wang Yi immediately held a phone call with the Ukrainian and Russian Foreign Ministers, proposing a peaceful path to resolve all parties’ concerns through dialogue and negotiation.

Secondly, various agencies of the Chinese Foreign Ministry cooperated closely and comprehensively assessed the changes in the situation. Based on various options, they immediately formulated a feasible plan to assist the voluntary safe evacuation of Chinese and non-Chinese citizens from Ukraine, activated the emergency consular protection mechanism and opened and unblocked some security channels.

Not wasting time and seizing the right time windows that we are struggling to open in the current war situation are ways to better organise emergency evacuation operations, and provide every possible help to those who have not been evacuated yet.

Behind such efficient relocation operations, which have also involved the governments of China, Moldova, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Belarus, there are the dedication of diplomats and people’s common desire for peace around the world, as these countries and others have provided security and evacuation structures.

Minister Wang Yi clearly and vigorously expressed China's open, transparent and consistent basic position on the Ukrainian issue, saying that the vast majority of countries oppose the "new cold war" and the division of the world. Minister Wang Yi said that in the face of a turbulent and changing world, the People's Republic of China has always represented stability and positive energy, and has always positioned itself in the right direction of historical progress. China will continue to take its responsibilities, to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and benefit for everyone, to promote the construction of a new type of international relations and contribute to building an international community with a future shared by all mankind.

We are certain that only the People's Republic of China has the possibility of making Russia see reason and leading it, first of all, to the cessation of hostilities, and to the organisation of a "Helsinki 2" Conference that would ensure to everyone - as forty-seven years ago - respect for the security of one another.

Professor Giancarlo Elia Valori is a world-renowned Italian economist and international relations expert, who serves as the President of the International World Group. In 1995, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem dedicated the Giancarlo Elia Valori chair of Peace and Regional Cooperation. Prof. Valori also holds chairs for Peace Studies at Yeshiva University in New York and at Peking University in China. Among his many honors from countries and institutions around the world, Prof. Valori is an Honorable of the Academy of Science at the Institute of France, as well as Knight Grand Cross and Knight of Labor of the Italian Republic.

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