China releases position paper on Ukraine crisis political settlement
Updated 14:25, 24-Feb-2023

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday released a 12-point position paper on a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. 

The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld, it said, reiterating the words of Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, at this year's Munich Security Conference (MSC).

"For a safer world, we must all insist on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, on the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue and consultation, on returning to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter," Wang said at the MSC.

In the paper, China stressed that the cold war mentality must be abandoned and said all parties should oppose the pursuit of one's own security at the cost of others' security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent. 

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Dialogue only viable solution

China called for all parties to cease hostilities and resume peace talks. "Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis."

Dai Bing, charge d'affaires of China's permanent mission to the United Nations (UN), on Thursday told the UN General Assembly Emergency Special Session on Ukraine that facilitation of a ceasefire is a top priority and the door to a political solution cannot be closed.

"Conflicts and wars have no winners. The longer the brutality, the greater the human suffering. We once again call on the parties to the conflict to remain rational, restrain their impulses, and prevent the crisis from getting worse or even out of control."

China reiterated that relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction" against other countries to deescalate the Ukraine crisis and create conditions for peace talks.

The paper also pointed out the importance of protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs) to resolve the humanitarian crisis. The safety of civilians must be effectively protected, and humanitarian corridors should be set up for the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones.

Noting that the basic rights of POWs must be respected, the paper said China supports the exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine, and calls on all parties to create more favorable conditions for this purpose.

Avoid nuclear risks

China also warned that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought. "Nuclear proliferation must be prevented and nuclear crisis avoided. China opposes the research, development and use of chemical and biological weapons by any country under any circumstances."

Safety of nuclear power plants must be protected, the paper said, adding that all parties should comply with international law including the Convention on Nuclear Safety and resolutely avoid man-made nuclear accidents.

China firmly upholds the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and will continue to promote international cooperation on arms control and the building of global nuclear security architecture, and play its part in maintaining global strategic stability, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the Lanting Forum on the Global Security Initiative: China's Proposal for Solving Security Challenges. 

Read more:  China releases concept paper on global security initiative

Mitigate spillovers of the crisis

In the paper, China called on the international community to work together to mitigate the spillovers of the crisis. 

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has had a significant impact on the global energy market and food market. Disruptions to the supply of gas from Russia, one of the world's largest producers of oil and gas, has resulted in shortage of gas as well as rising inflation particularly in Europe.

China also urged all parties to keep the industrial and supply chains stable and maintain the existing world economic system, to implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by Russia, Türkiye, Ukraine and the UN fully and effectively in a balanced manner, and to support the UN in playing an important role in this regard.

China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role to support post-conflict reconstruction in conflict zones, the paper added.

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