China positions itself as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine. Analysts say China is positioning itself as a mediator between warring Russia and Ukraine in order to be seen as a global leader and score itself in the West.
China positions itself as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, on Tuesday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Ukraine is open to “negotiating a solution” to the Ukrainian issue with Russia, the report said. According to the report, Kuleba said Uzbekistan “is willing to strengthen communication with China and expects China to mediate to achieve a ceasefire.”
Helping to stop the war would make China seem more inclined to establish peace in Europe rather than maintain it, experts said. Post-Cold War friendship with Russia, which was unpopular in the West.
Attempts to mediate would also divert international attention from China’s controversial goal of unifying Taiwan, they said. China’s claim to Taiwan has not ruled out the possibility of using force to seize it if necessary.
Carl Thayer, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said any effort to stop the war in Ukraine “would improve China’s position from a passive role to some leadership”.
“The longer (China) remains silent, the more it will undermine China’s efforts to establish itself as a responsible global leader,” he said.
Western leaders describe China as an expanding military in Asia. power, and threats to Taiwan. Taiwan is a democracy with strong support in Europe and North America. With 1.4 billion people, China is the most populous country in the world; it is the second-largest economy in the world with a volume of US$18.1 trillion; and the third most powerful armed force after the United States and Russia. Chinese President Xi Jinping said last year that China would never “aggress or bully others, and would never seek hegemony,” according to Xinhua.
At a news conference last month, when asked about Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said respecting the sovereignty of all countries was China’s “consistent and principled position.”
“This is an opportunity to show that China is not a revisionist power and that it respects international law and respects sovereignty. If this is the case, then China may take a stronger stance on Ukraine,” Tokyo International Christian University Politics and said Stephen Nagy, senior associate professor of international studies.
Thayer said successful mediation in particular helped China “earn the praise of Europe.” The relationship could lead to more pan-Eurasian trade, he said. In 2020, China is the EU’s third largest exporter and largest import partner.
Before the phone call between the two foreign ministers, China had avoided publicly siding with Russia over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite a longstanding and deepening friendship with Moscow.
China avoids the word “invasion” when describing the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. But it did not join Russia in vetoing a U.S.-backed UN Security Council resolution condemning the attack. China’s ambassador to the United Nations has suggested Ukraine become a “bridge” between East and West.
China’s official Xinhua news agency on Wednesday expressed regret that “some malicious media” had spread “low-level jokes” about the war.
Russia intensified attacks on Ukrainian cities on Wednesday as both sides expressed willingness to resume talks aimed at ending the war.
Ukrainian authorities said the attacks killed more than 2,000 people in homes, hospitals and kindergartens.