Beijing envoy Wang Yi’s European tour. Skepticism about the announcement of Xi Jinping’s “peace plan” for the Ukrainian crisis. The Chinese ambiguity on the principle of territorial integrity. For China, unilateral sanctions are more counterproductive than armed invasions (by its “unlimited” friends) in inter-state disputes.
Rome () – Restore ties with the European Union while Beijing tries to stabilize relations with the United States and reassure Russia, its “limitless” partner. The diplomatic mission of Wang Yi, a member of the Politburo and head of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party, who is in Europe these days, is truly impossible.
In his February 18 speech at the Munich Security Conference, Wang announced that China would present its proposals for a political solution to the Ukraine crisis. Very vaguely, the former Chinese foreign minister – who in his new role has become Beijing’s highest diplomatic envoy – stressed that his country is in favor of peace talks between the Russians and the Ukrainians.
What Xi Jinping is expected to outline on February 24, a year after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, does not appear to be a proper peace plan, but rather a document on Beijing’s position on the conflict. Translation: the Chinese will not mediate between the parties, at least not directly.
It remains questionable how China can get everyone to agree on the Ukrainian issue. In his speech in Munich, Wang said that Beijing will “resolutely curb acts of separatism and interference to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
According to this position, the Chinese proposal will have to include the withdrawal of Russian forces in order to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity and full sovereignty, a point on which his no-holds-barred friend Vladimir Putin will surely disagree.
Western foreign ministries can only be skeptical of the Chinese peace initiative. Wang’s words are a concentrate of ambiguity, from which it follows that the principle of territorial integrity should apply to China over Taiwan, but not to Ukraine over the territories occupied by the Russian army. Not in vain, admitting that there can be friction and disagreements between nations, Wang stresses that handling them with “pressure, smear campaigns and unilateral sanctions is often counterproductive, and can even cause endless problems.”
Pressure, discredit and sanctions: the allusion to the United States is clear. However, Wang failed to mention that armed invasions and military aggression to settle disputes between states are far more counterproductive. Maybe he omitted it to let his boss say it in four days.