On January 8, 1918, woodrow wilson presented to the United States Congress a plan with fourteen points to create a new world order based on peace after the end of the First World War. At that time, Europe was still mired in conflict and the American president, thousands of kilometers away, wanted to assume a role of mediator between the blocks.
Today there is another war on European soil and this time it has been the leader of China, Xi Jinping, who has offered to intercede in the peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. To do this, after holding an ambiguous position throughout the conflict, which has just entered its second year, the Asian giant has presented a proposal based in twelve points to find “a political solution to the crisis”.
As soon as this roadmap is published, United States, NATO and the European Union They showed their skepticism about an initiative that they see leaning towards the Kremlin. Among other things because the document does not explicitly include the withdrawal of Russian troops and condemns the use of “unilateral sanctions” in a clear reference to those that the West has imposed on the Russian economy. Despite this, both kyiv as Moscow seem to be willing to assess the proposal.
[La paz en Ucrania pasa por China: cómo el gigante asiático se ha convertido en pieza clave del conflicto]
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was sparing of words about the Chinese plan, but said he was willing to meet Xi “to discuss,” according to the media outlet. Political. “I plan to meet him and I believe that this will be beneficial for our countries and for security in the world,” Zelenski said at a press conference. However, he also qualified that any proposal is valid as long as it includes the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from the occupied territory.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has been more concise. This same Monday he has announced that he is lending “a lot of attention” to China’s suggestions advocating “an immediate ceasefire” before the situation gets out of control and escalates to a nuclear conflict.
It has been the spokesman for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, who has declared that any initiative that can bring peace closer is worthy of attention. However, he has recognized that it is a very long and intense process because “details need to be scrutinized taking into account the interests of the different parties”.
Despite having shown some openness, Peskov has also recalled that the “special military operation” in Ukraine is still underway and that, for now, there are no signs indicating that there will be a peaceful resolution.
An “unbelievable” mediator
Despite the fact that Beijing wants to play “a constructive role” -and hence his 12-point approach-, the Western allies do not quite trust their hello good intentions.
“China does not have much credibility because it has not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg. “China has already taken sides in the war,” said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
And the truth is that China claims have a neutral stance, not only has it not opposed the invasion, but has repeatedly blamed the West for inflaming tensions. And that’s not all: it should be remembered that just a few days before Putin attacked Ukraine, he made official with Russia “a friendship without limits”.
[Xi y Putin, unidos por la derrota: China recupera su “amistad sin límites” ante las restricciones antiCovid]
Also, the timing It is, at least, opportune. At least for the Asian giant, since it appears just after US intelligence has alerted that the Chinese government could be considering sending arms and ammunition to the Kremlin.
All in all, although both parties say they are ready to explore the diplomatic route and end hostilities, neither seems to have been entirely satisfied with Beijing’s position: both continue to put their demands ahead.
China’s 12 points for a “political solution” to the war.
– Respect for “the sovereignty of all countries” and “their territorial integrity.”
– The abandonment of the “cold war mentality” and respect for the “legitimate security concerns of countries”, something that Beijing has reiterated since the invasion began, in reference to Russia.
– A ceasefire and a call for “moderation” to “prevent the situation from getting out of control.”
– The start of peace talks, given that “dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out to resolve the crisis,” according to the Foreign Ministry.
– The resolution of the humanitarian crisis, “effectively protecting the safety of civilians” and “establishing humanitarian corridors for their evacuation from war zones.”
– Support for the “exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine” and the cessation of “attacks on civilian facilities.”
– The protection of the security of nuclear power plants and an end to “armed attacks against nuclear power plants.”
– “Strategic risk reduction”, which includes an emphasis that “nuclear war should not and cannot be fought.”
– The guarantee of the export of cereals, in which the United Nations must “play an important role”, according to the Ministry.
– The cessation of “unilateral sanctions” for “not solving problems, and may even create new ones”, according to Beijing, which has expressed its opposition to sanctions against Moscow since the beginning of the war.
– The protection of the stability of industrial and supply chains, which includes a request to all parties to “oppose” the politicization and instrumentalization of the world economy.
– Support for the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war, something to which China is willing to “provide help.”