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It's time to give peace a chance through dialogue rather than adding fuel to fire: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2023-04-26 21:54
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A sculpture of doves of peace flying into the sky. [Photo/IC]

After China brokered a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran last month, it raised hopes that it would act as a mediator to help bring an end to the hostilities in Ukraine.

China is neither the instigator nor a party to the conflict, and it has kept its communication channels with both Moscow and Kyiv open. Having consistently called for talks to end the conflict, it has established its credentials as a peace broker. Thus the telephone talk between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday has attracted great attention.

The warm response Zelensky gave to Xi's proposal to send the Chinese government's special representative for Eurasian affairs to Ukraine and other countries to have in-depth communication with all parties to pursue a political resolution to the crisis, demonstrates the Ukrainian side's full recognition of the important role that China can play in promoting peace talks. After speaking with Xi, who elaborated on the principles and solution China has outlined and proposed in its document on securing a political settlement to the crisis, the Ukrainian leader tweeted that it had been a "long and meaningful" phone call.

A settlement to the crisis cannot come soon enough. Not only has the conflict disrupted global food and energy supply chains producing shock waves around the world, but as the hostilities have intensified, talk has been flying around raising the prospect of nuclear weapons being used. As Xi said, there will be no winners in such a nightmare scenario. All parties involved should remain calm and exercise restraint, truly focus on the future and the destiny of themselves and all humanity, and jointly manage the crisis. He noted that rational thinking and the voices of parties concerned are increasing now, and the opportunity should be seized to accumulate favorable conditions for a political resolution to the crisis.

The talk between the two leaders will prove to be of substantial meaning if it can produce pragmatic progress to secure a cease-fire as the prelude to negotiations to reach an agreement on a lasting resolution to the crisis. The conflict was able to erupt because of the tensions that had built up on the European continent due to the absence of a lasting and practical peace mechanism. Tensions that Washington was able to exploit via NATO.

And for more than a year, the United States-led extreme sanctions on Russia and ever-increasing provision of military assistance and weapons to Ukraine have only served to prolong the crisis and escalate the tensions as it seeks to permanently weaken Russia, control Europe and isolate China.

The talk between Xi and Zelensky appears to have been fruitful in providing new inspiration and motivation for concerted efforts to create the necessary conditions for peace talks. That's what true mediating efforts should entail. It is dialogue, not weapons and sanctions, that will end the conflict and restore peace and stability in Europe.

Wednesday's telephone call shows that China is neither watching the fire from afar nor pouring oil on the flames. Instead, it is trying to leverage its relations with both Kyiv and Moscow to help resolve the crisis and restore peace through diplomatic means.

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