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China steps up to plate as peace broker: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2023-03-26 20:44
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Protesters in Brussels on Sunday, Feb 26, 2023 vent their views in a demonstration calling for an end to the conflict in Ukraine. ZHANG JIANING/FOR CHINA DAILY

Last month, China released a 12-point proposal for ending the Ukraine crisis, calling for addressing both the symptoms and root causes of the crisis and stressing the necessity to end the conflict through dialogue and negotiation. China's impartial and principled position has won wide recognition from the world community.

And with Beijing intensifying its efforts to broker peace in Ukraine, it has become apparent that many European leaders have a growing interest in coordinating their stance with China with the view to resolving the Ukraine crisis.

In a news conference in Brussels on Friday following a meeting of the European Council, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called China a global actor and urged the world to listen to China's voice so as to find a way out of the crisis in Ukraine. According to media reports, Sanchez has accepted an invitation from President Xi Jinping to pay a state visit to China later this week.

Also on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen would accompany him on an upcoming visit to China next month.

In his telephone call with French President Emmanuel Macron's diplomatic adviser Emmanuel Bonne the day before, Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Wang Yi called on the European Union to reach a "strategic consensus" with Beijing on a political settlement to the conflict in Ukraine.

Wang briefed Bonne on President Xi's recent talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, during which the Chinese and Russian leaders agreed that responsible dialogue is the best way to achieve an appropriate solution to the Ukraine crisis and called for stopping all moves that lead to tensions and the protraction of the conflict.

The upcoming multiple visits from European leaders will present a good opportunity for Chinese and the visiting European leaders to compare notes on the Ukraine conflict and lay the groundwork for building a "strategic consensus" on the Ukraine crisis. After all, a protracted conflict will only further worsen Europe's security outlook and paint an even gloomier picture for its economic and social development.

It is to be hoped that the visits will lead to a strategic consensus between China and Europe that easing hostilities, resuming peace talks and realizing a political settlement are the way to end the crisis, and that they can make joint efforts in this regard on the basis of the Global Security Initiative and the 12-point proposal for ending the crisis that China has put forward.

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