China's support for Ukraine peace talks bodes well to end the crisis
Bobby Naderi
A destroyed tank in the Dmytrivka village, near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2023. /CFP
A destroyed tank in the Dmytrivka village, near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2023. /CFP

A destroyed tank in the Dmytrivka village, near Kyiv, Ukraine, March 6, 2023. /CFP

Editor's note: Bobby Naderi, a special commentator for CGTN, is a London-based journalist, guest contributor in print, radio and television, and documentary filmmaker. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Senior diplomats from around 40 nations gathered for a two-day conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to create guiding principles that would help put an end to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The meeting, which came after a comparable gathering in Copenhagen earlier this summer, represented the international community's continuous efforts to find a workable resolution to the crisis. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his hope that the idea will result in a "peace summit" of world leaders this autumn. Zelenskyy's 10-point plan for a settlement, which emphasizes on ideas like maintaining Ukraine's territorial integrity, upholding sovereignty, and following international law, was the focal topic of the discussions.

Humanitarian help, nuclear safety, environmental security, the release of prisoners of war and kidnapped children were among the topics for working groups that were also suggested. It is anticipated that the output of these working groups will serve as a basis for upcoming discussions among national security advisers.

By participating in these working groups, China can offer insightful knowledge and experience while utilizing its diplomatic clout and economic might to aid in the development of practical solutions. If the recent China-brokered detente between Iran and Saudi Arabia is any indication, China's participation in the Ukraine peace talks might significantly increase the likelihood of ending the war which has lasted one and a half years as well.

A diplomatic turning point

China's support for more peace negotiations was one of the Jeddah meeting's most important outcomes. China voiced support for a third round of negotiations through Li Hui, its special representative for Eurasian issues. 

The involvement of China is notable for a number of reasons. First off, it denotes a readiness to contribute to peaceful resolutions of international conflicts and constructive engagement in them. Second, given its position as a global economic and political powerhouse, China's participation can bring new viewpoints and diplomatic weight to the negotiating table.

China's choice to participate in the talks indicates its developing status as a responsible global actor, ready to get involved in resolving challenging international problems.

Furthermore, China's involvement might strengthen its ties with countries like the U.S. and other conference attendees. China's backing for the peace negotiations strengthens its commitment to diplomacy and stability, further solidifying its diplomatic status on the international scene as a mediator.

Divergent interests and agendas

The hostilities between Russia and Ukraine continue to have a negative impact on world stability and diplomacy, no less the plight of millions of refugees. The international community's work towards finding a peaceful settlement has gained traction, but a number of challenges still stand in the way.

Displaced Ukrainians arrive in Kyiv by train to reunite with their families in Ukraine, June 29, 2023. /CFP
Displaced Ukrainians arrive in Kyiv by train to reunite with their families in Ukraine, June 29, 2023. /CFP

Displaced Ukrainians arrive in Kyiv by train to reunite with their families in Ukraine, June 29, 2023. /CFP

The intricate web of conflicting interests and ambitions among the parties engaged is one of the biggest barriers to peace. While the international community seeks a peaceful resolution, negotiations are made difficult by territorial and strategic aspirations in the area. Finding a middle ground and coming to a mutually agreeable settlement is challenging due to the conflicting interests of many stakeholders, including Russia, Ukraine, and Western countries.

A significant obstacle to reaching a peaceful agreement is the lack of trust between the parties. The confidence that is essential for successful negotiations has been undermined by years of conflict, propaganda, and misinformation in a sadly malevolent fashion. The difficulty of establishing trust is further exacerbated by long-standing complaints and hostility, making it difficult to create a setting that is conducive to fruitful discussions.

To make matters worse, the catastrophe has developed into a front for geopolitical conflicts, with several nations trying to promote their interests by supporting various sides. In addition to extending the fight, this geopolitical complexity includes outside forces that could thwart settlement efforts.

Negotiations for peace are made more challenging by economic factors and access to rich resources. Control of vital infrastructure, trade routes, and energy resources adds a financial component to the conflict that can sway judgment and impede efforts to reach a peaceful settlement. It is difficult to strike a balance between economic concerns and the larger objective of winning the war.

Whatever the specifics, one thing is guaranteed: The ongoing negotiations among China and the parties involved in the Ukraine crisis have been aided by the Saudi Arabian peace talks, which have made progress towards a peaceful resolution. There can be little question that China's participation in the third round of negotiations offers hope for an all-encompassing and long-lasting conclusion as the international community works to put an end to the conflict in Ukraine.

It is possible to create an organized, collective political framework that addresses the conflict's underlying issues and prepares the road for a lasting peace accord by combining different viewpoints.

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