US wary of Chinese proposal to end war in Ukraine

Washington [US], February 27 (ANI): The US is wary of the Chinese proposal to end the war in Ukraine as Beijing is offering a bogus path to peace, weighing arms sales to Russia, and showing an increasing appetite for confrontation with the democratic world, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

Beijing is offering a bogus path to peace, weighing arms sales to Russia, and showing an increasing appetite for confrontation with the democratic world.

Released by China on February 24 to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion, the 12-point proposal calls for an end to Western sanctions against Moscow, setting up humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians, ensuring the regular export of Ukrainian grain, security guarantees for Russia, and calls against the use of nuclear weapons, reported RFE/RL.

The 12-point proposal pitches a gradual de-escalation of hostilities that would pave the way for peace talks.

But, China’s call for a truce between Russia and Ukraine quickly faced scrutiny as it appeared to reaffirm Beijing’s position that the West is fueling the conflict while seemingly offering Moscow a reprieve, reported RFE/RL.

"Beijing is speaking to a global audience with this paper," Raffaello Pantucci, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told RFE/RL.

"But for China to seriously push for peace, they would have to tell Moscow things they don’t want to hear, and there is no evidence that (Beijing) has ever told Russia to step back -- either behind the scenes or in front of the cameras."The proposal also included language that appeared to be directed at the West, including calls to end the "Cold War mentality" toward the conflict and warning against "expanding military blocs," which are terms the Chinese Foreign Ministry has used in the past to refer to what it views as Washington’s interference in other countries’ affairs and the growth of the NATO military alliance.

A separate senior EU official told RFE/RL that the proposal should be seen in the context of China looking to appear as "a leader of the ‘Global South’ and as a peace promoter," adding that "Europe is not wooed" by the Chinese initiative.

The Chinese call for a truce comes after a year of Beijing looking to present itself as a neutral party to the war -- rejecting Western attempts to get China to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, reported RFE/RL.

Throughout the war, Beijing has carefully avoided any bold moves to help Russia that would lead to Western backlash while simultaneously deepening cooperation with Moscow. This has included providing crucial economic and diplomatic support for Russia, such as buying up Russian energy and parroting Moscow’s narrative of the war in its media and at international forums like the United Nations.

On February 23, Beijing also abstained -- for the fourth time -- from a UN vote demanding that Russian forces withdraw from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, reactions to the proposal have ranged from critical to muted, reported RFE/RL.

Speaking to CNN shortly after the paper was released, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed much of the proposal’s contents, saying it could have stopped "at point one, which is to respect the sovereignty of all nations.""Ukraine wasn’t attacking Russia. NATO wasn’t attacking Russia. The United States wasn’t attacking Russia," he added. "Russia’s aims in the war were to wipe Ukraine off the map, to absorb it into Russia."The Chinese paper also comes amid rising tensions between Beijing and Washington and accusations that China is considering supplying military equipment to Russia.

The claim has been raised by US officials multiple times recently, and The Wall Street Journal reported that Washington is considering releasing intelligence on the alleged arms transfer.

The German magazine Der Spiegel also claimed in a report published on February 23, citing unnamed sources, that Moscow was negotiating with a Chinese company about supplying large quantities of strike drones.

Chinese officials haven’t commented on the Der Spiegel report but have strongly rejected the US claims, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin saying, "The US side isn’t qualified to point fingers at China or order China around, and we never accept the (United States) criticizing Sino-Russian relations." (ANI)