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Forget Cold War Stance & Politicization: What Did China Say in Its Position Paper on Ukraine Crisis?

© AP Photo / Andy WongA Chinese national flag flutters in the wind in between a high-rise residential and office complex in Beijing, China. (File)
A Chinese national flag flutters in the wind in between a high-rise residential and office complex in Beijing, China. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.02.2023
China earlier indicated that it would be issuing its position paper on the ongoing Ukraine conflict, with representatives previously underscoring that Beijing fully intended to take on a “constructive role” in its closure.
In its highly-anticipated position paper, released on February 24, the Chinese Foreign Ministry outlined various initiatives to undertake in order to bring a solution to the Ukraine conflict, highlighting the importance of constructive talks and avoiding the threat of nuclear weapons.

Avoid the Politicization & Drop the Sanctions Campaign

Beijing advocated against the abuse of unilateral sanctions in the context of the Ukraine conflict as these only create new problems. "Unilateral sanctions and excessive pressure do not only solve problems but create new ones. We oppose any unilateral sanctions not authorized by the [United Nations] Security Council," the document read.
The filing further argued against the politicization of the world economy and against using it as a weapon.
"It is important to ensure the stability of supply chains, and all parties must protect the existing world system of economy, resist its politicization, its instrumentalization, and its use as a weapon," the document read.
Since the start of Russia's military operation, the US and its allies have launched an all-out sanctions campaign with economic restriction only expected to be bolstered. A new sanctions package from the US is expected to be released on Friday to coincide with the conflict's one-year anniversary.
Reports have detailed that the latest US package may list Chinese-based or Chinese entities in Europe. Victoria Nuland, the under secretary of State for political affairs, earlier stated that Chinese entities would be more of a sanctions target amid claims that businesses were attempting to skirt current economic restrictions.
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In fact, the US issued sanctions against Chinese smallsat developer Spacety in January after it accused the company of providing geolocation technology to a Russian firm with ties to the Wagner Group. The private Russian military group has played a vital role in the special operation, having aided in the liberation of various parts of the Donbass.

Forget the Cold War Mentality & Stick to Negotiations

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a position paper that parties need to abstain from the Cold War mentality in the settlement of the Ukraine conflict and respect the legitimate security interests of all countries.
The ministry said in the document that "sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively guaranteed."
"[It is important] to abandon the Cold War mentality. The security of one country cannot be achieved at the expense of the security of other countries, and regional security cannot be achieved at the expense of strengthening or even expanding military blocs," the document read.
"Legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and duly respected."
Speaking to the necessity of dialogue and negotiations, officials stressed it was "the only feasible way out of the Ukrainian crisis."
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The ministry stated that "all efforts contributing to a peaceful resolution of the crisis must be encouraged and supported," adding that officials needed to create the right conditions and provide a platform for the resumption of talks between Moscow and Kiev.
"There are no winners in wars and conflicts. All sides should remain rational and restrained, not add fuel to the flame, not exacerbate contradictions, not allow the Ukraine crisis to escalate further or even get out of control, support the movement of Russia and Ukraine toward each other, and resume direct dialogue as soon as possible," the ministry said.
It is necessary to "consistently promote de-escalation and detente of the situation and finally achieve a full cease-fire," the paper read.

Countering Use of Nuclear Threats

Touching on the need to counter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, the Chinese Foreign Ministry reiterated that such weapons should be avoided at all costs.

"Nuclear weapons cannot be used, and nuclear war cannot be fought," the paper read. "The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons must be countered."

The ministry added that Beijing opposes the development and use of biological and chemical weapons by any country under any circumstances.
Comments on nuclear arms comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin recently announced Russia's withdrawal from the New START Treaty, an agreement between the US and Russia to implement a cap on each nation's nuclear stockpile.
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Earlier, even former US President Donald Trump weighed in on US-Russia tensions, remarking that World War III "has never been closer" in a dig against his successor. However, it appeared as though the former commander-in-chief himself forgot about his own nuclear-level tensions with North Korea, a time that saw the then-president repeatedly instigate confrontations with his fighting words.

Black Sea Grain Deal Must Be Respected by All Parties

Shifting gears to the Black Sea grain deal, the position paper specified that all parties should also respect the provisions of the initiative, noting that China's initiative of international cooperation in the field of food security can provide a real solution to the global food crisis.
"All parties should equally respect the agreement on the transportation of grain through the Black Sea, signed by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and the UN, support the important role of the UN in this issue," the paper read.
The initiative, which was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July 2022, effectively allowed grain to be exported from three Ukrainian ports. Although the deal is expected to expire on March 18, it is anticipated the agreement will be extended for at least one year and see the inclusion of additional Ukrainian ports.
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The ministry also emphasized that Beijing stands ready to assist and play a constructive role in the post-conflict reconstruction in the Ukrainian conflict zone.
"[It is necessary] to promote post-war reconstruction. The international community should take steps to support post-war reconstruction in the conflict zone. China is ready to assist and play a constructive role in this regard," the paper read.

US 'Skeptical' of China's Position Paper

Hours before the release of China's position paper, Ned Price, who serves as the spokesperson for the US State Department, told reporters during a briefing that he remained "skeptical" of the document's findings.
"I think when it comes to these reports of a peace proposal — look, there are reasons to be skeptical," Price told a briefing. "We are skeptical that reports of a proposal like this will be a constructive path forward."
Price's own skepticism of what was to come from the Chinese Foreign Ministry was further touched on by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, who earlier indicated US officials would analyze China's terms.
On Tuesday, the Chinese Central Foreign Affairs Office Director Wang Yi shared with the Ukrainian side the key points of the peace plan for settlement of the conflict in Ukraine, that Kiev intends to study and draw conclusions.
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