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Peace efforts need support to bear fruit: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-05-16 20:13
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People rally during a demonstration against war and the supply of weapons to Ukraine, in Cologne, Germany. PANAMA PICTURES

With the "meat grinding" military conflict in Ukraine intensifying, efforts to promote peace should be welcomed and supported.

The difficulties in mediating between Moscow and Kyiv are readily apparent, as both sides have adopted seemingly intransigent positions. Nonetheless, China is giving it a go.

As part of its efforts to help find a political solution to the crisis, China's special envoy for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, is paying visits to Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany and Russia this week, with the aim of learning and communicating the various demands of these key parties.

Contrary to the sly claims of Washington, China has taken a neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as it has friendly and cooperative relations with both countries. It has consistently called for direct talks between the two sides to cease the bloodshed and find a permanent solution to their differences.

Furthermore, China has just successfully mediated reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which has initiated broader moves to promote peace and development in the Middle East. That offers a demonstration effect to Kyiv and Moscow that there is a constructive alternative to the mutually destructive path they are on at the moment.

Li's endeavors, aimed at soliciting and sharing the various viewpoints of the parties concerned and identifying points on which constructive communication can take place, will be especially taxing as it coincides with the start of a planned counteroffensive on the battlefield by Ukraine, for which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been rallying more military support in Europe.

Nonetheless, efforts have to be made to end the bloodshed and stabilize the situation. Not just for the benefit of the two belligerents, but for the world as a whole, as the spillover effects are being felt far and wide.

Li's visits demonstrate China's sincerity in trying to promote a political settlement to the crisis. But that is not something that can be realized by its efforts alone. The five nations he is visiting must have a genuine willingness to secure an end to the conflict, and other countries must render their support to the peace efforts.

Given that the conflict is essentially a proxy war the US is waging against Russia, its European allies in particular need to step up to the plate and not act as enablers for Washington to keep fanning the flames of hostilities.

In this regard, it was a positive development that just before Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was due to meet US President Joe Biden on May 12, a Spanish diplomatic source said Sanchez would ask Biden to listen to the opinions of non-NATO members such as China and Brazil on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

It is to be hoped that other countries will add their voices to that of Spain.

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