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China upholds dialogue as the way to resolve the Ukraine conflict: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2022-02-27 19:53
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Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. [Photo/Agencies]

The time-tested truths of history have taught generation and generation of Chinese to maintain a proper sense of right and wrong, and stand on the right side of history.

As the United States, the European Union, as well as allies and partners elsewhere, escalate sanctions against Russia, pledging to cripple the Russian economy, China has remained an impartial third party and has appealed for dialogue.

On Friday, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi elaborated on China's position in his respective telephone talks with United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, and French Diplomatic Advisor to the President Emmanuel Bonne, in which he exchanged views on the situation with them.

He boiled China's stance down to five clear points: that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, Russia's concerns about NATO's expansion should be heeded, all parties should practice restraint, a negotiated solution should be pursued and the UN Security Council should play a constructive role in resolving the Ukraine issue.

This makes China's views on the situation very clear. It adheres to a policy of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties. The US, which still views the world through the prism of the Cold War, thinks only in terms of friends or enemies and forms exclusive alliances and "small circles". China is not interested in such a practice and seeks communication and coordination with all countries.

Since both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky have expressed willingness to negotiate, China hopes that they will make it happen as soon as possible since dialogue is the formula for ending the conflict as quickly as hoped.

The longer the war lasts, the greater the suffering the Ukrainian people face. Zelensky needs to negotiate to prevent avoidable harm to his country and people and Putin needs to do it to limit far broader consequences for his country's future.

The US and its allies may be overconfident about the expected impacts of their sanctions. Russia may have a tougher skin today than they think. But escalated confrontation over Ukraine would still be costly and debilitating.

China, on its part, supports all efforts that are conducive to de-escalating the situation and achieving a political settlement, as Wang Yi said in a telephone talk with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Saturday.

If the UN Security Council is to take action, it should facilitate a political settlement of the current crisis rather than instigate new rivalries and confrontations.

To this end, it should support NATO, the EU and Russia engaging in dialogue to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism so as to achieve lasting peace and stability on the European continent.

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