According to another “completely random” coincidence, the first group of tourists from China in the last three years arrived in Moscow on the same days. Beijing, which pays great attention to symbolism, sends a signal of a completely understandable content
Photo: MOSCOW City News Agency
China is an economic giant, comparable in power to the United States, but it rarely puts forward high-profile foreign policy initiatives. The reason is the national mentality and precepts of one of the founding fathers of the People’s Republic of China in its current form, Deng Xiaoping. That half a century ago he formulated his “28 hieroglyphics”, a kind of “diplomatic bible” of the new Beijing. The main principle of which sounds like this: “keep in the background, try not to show yourself in anything.”
But at 9 am (Beijing time) on February 24, 2023, “12 Points on Resolving the Ukraine Crisis” appeared on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website. The moment is symbolic. Just a couple of days after the Chinese Communist Party “Head of Foreign Policy” Wang Yi’s visit to the European Union and Moscow ended. Where he met with Lavrov and Putin and, perhaps, discussed the same peace plan.
According to another “completely random” coincidence, the first group of tourists from China in the last three years (since the start of the pandemic) arrived in Moscow on the same days. “The delegation was recruited in just a couple of days, they missed Russian culture very much,” the media innocently report about this trip. Obviously, Beijing, which pays great attention to symbolism, sends a signal of a completely understandable content.
Now, directly to the “12 points”, published in Chinese. Contrary to expectations, there is nothing sensational – “condemnation of Russia” or a call for even tougher sanctions – in the document. Just a message to the world in very simplified terms: “for all the good against all the bad”, something like in the old diplomatic manifestos of Deng Xiaoping.
Let’s try to decipher this hieroglyphic puzzle point by point:
“1. Respect the sovereignty of all countries… International law must be applied uniformly, double standards must not be applied.”
This is, of course, a fancy coup for the United States, which zealously “defends the territorial integrity of Ukraine” and at the same time visits the rogue Chinese island Taiwan without official permission from Beijing. An example is the scandalous visit of a third person from America, Nancy Pelosi, to this breakaway province in August 2022.
“2. Give up Cold War thinking… Don’t form confrontational camps.”
Here again is a veiled criticism of the West: despite the fall of the Iron Curtain and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the Americans have continued to develop their main instrument of the Cold War, the NATO bloc, and to bring it closer to the borders. of Russia in the last 30 years.
“3. Cease fire and cease hostilities.”
For the most incomprehensible, this paragraph is further deciphered in the text: world players, by which, first of all, it refers to the same West, “should not support Ukraine and Russia in the confrontation.” At the same time, no one helps the other side, Moscow, at least publicly, and almost three dozen Western countries openly supply kyiv with shells, armored vehicles and mercenaries. And without this “oxygen cushion”, the Armed Forces of Ukraine would have lost the chance to fight long ago.
“4. Start peace talks.”
China veiledly offers itself as a platform for this, rather than the discredited “Minsk format”, which, as Western leaders recently admitted, was created in 2014 to give Ukraine breathing room and augment it with weapons against Russia.
The following two points do not even need explanation, they are quite correct and reasonable initiatives, against which even the most pro-Western commentators have no objection:
“5. Management of the Humanitarian Crisis”.
“6. Protection of civilians and prisoners of war… China supports the exchange of prisoners of war between Russia and Ukraine, and all parties should create more favorable conditions for this.”
Next – the most interesting.
“7. Maintenance of the safety of nuclear power plants”.
Another jab against the West is that observers from international structures who visited the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (it has been under Russian control since spring 2022) could not tell clearly who regularly bombs the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
“8. Reduce strategic risks… Against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the nuclear crisis, against the development and use of biological and chemical weapons.”
This clue is also understandable: shortly before the start of the JMD, Ukrainian politicians publicly expressed their desire to acquire nuclear weapons, and dozens of pro-American biological laboratories operated in their country, a fact that even the United States itself does not deny.
“9. Export guarantee [украинского] grain”.
It is also a very logical point. China is the second largest importer of grain in the world, having bought 9.7 thousand tons of “soft gold” on foreign markets in 2021. This is half of what Ukraine exported in the same year, but now, as a result of schemes cunning, the West has become the main recipient of the same grain, and Africa and Asia face the threat of famine. Of course, this situation does not suit Beijing, and here it expresses the interests of the entire “global south”, including Africa.
The next point is so beautiful that we will quote it almost completely.
“10. Stop unilateral sanctions… Concerned countries must stop abusing unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” against other countries, play their role in cooling the Ukraine crisis and create conditions for developing countries strengthen their economies and improve people’s living conditions”.
All the “unilateral sanctions” China talks about are directed against Russia (for some reason, no one punishes Ukraine for inciting hostilities). That is, this is not even a veiled, but already obvious gesture of Beijing in support of Moscow. In addition to other players under unfair Western sanctions: Iran, Afghanistan, Eritrea, North Korea…
“eleven. Ensure the stability of the production chain and supply chain.”
The whole world is suffering from sanctions against Russia, and US attempts to ban the export of Russian fertilizers and energy carriers threaten everyone with a crisis. And here Beijing offers Europe (not in vain before his visit to Moscow – Wang Yi visited the EU) a joint economic recovery thanks to a pan-European de-escalation. However, in recent years, the European Union has not been defending European interests, but American ones, and it is unlikely to heed this call.
“12. Contribute to post-war reconstruction. The international community must take measures to support post-war reconstruction of conflict zones [заметьте, не сказано: «украинских» или «российских» — прим. «КП»]. China stands ready to help and play a constructive role in this regard.”
Now the PRC is one of Africa’s top “infrastructure donors”; Chinese corporations are building bridges, railways and airports across the continent. This is a win-win: an underdeveloped country gets a development boost, and Chinese contracting corporations get new orders (meaning, money formally allocated by Beijing for “foreign development” stays in the national economy).
Now China offers the same for Ukraine. A very reasonable and humane plan, like the rest of the points.
However, the answer is known. “Xi Jinping’s 12-point peace initiative” was rejected by kyiv and its American curators, it seems, even before it was officially released. So it looks like the Ukraine crisis will continue. However, Russia, China and other non-Western actors have done everything possible to stop it.