by Mustafa tousa
All eyes are on China to find out its diplomacy maneuvermargin in succeeding in bringing the Ukrainians and Russians’ views closer and making them sit at the negotiating table soon. China has made several proposals to the parties involved in this war.
From the point of view of observers, the Chinese plan was considered favorable to Russia, because it called for a cessation of hostilities in the sense of stopping hostilities on existing firing lines and keeping the Russians on about a fifth of the Ukrainian territory before negotiations start as well as lifting sanctions on Russia. In addition to humanitarian considerations such as prisoners of war exchange and protection of civilians, it also included the clause of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, the free export of grain, country reconstruction, and the abandonment of any nuclear threat.
Attention to China’s role in the crisis between Kyiv and Moscow is not new. During the recent G20 meetings, influential European voices have risen asking China to intervene in this conflict and try to convince the Russian leadership to stop its military operations in Ukraine.
This bet, at the time, was based on what was considered thepolitical and economic impact of China on the Russian leadership as China and its regional allies opened their markets to the Russian economy to prevent it from suffocating and collapsing after the harsh and sweeping sanctions wereimposed by the international community on Russia.
Based on these data, the Chinese interest in this conflict in this particular peripheral is seen as the last opportunity to reach a political understanding between Ukraine and Russia, which means excluding the hypothesis of China supplying arms to Russia and its indirect participation in these military operations. However, some skeptical circles believe that China’s mediation efforts cannot be crowned with any success, given that the two sides are still adopting a divergent approach. The Russian leadership refuses to enter into anydiscussion about the territories it has seized in easternUkraine, and the Ukrainian leadership refuses to sit down at the negotiating table with the continued Russian military presence in Ukraine.