Muhammad Asif Noor

After Russia authorized military operation in Ukraine soon after recognition of the two breakaway republics, China reiterates the significance of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity for all the countries.

China has called to resolve the disputes through dialogue, diplomacy, and UN Charter. One of the critical priorities for the international community should be to ease the tensions and help deescalate the conflict from going out of control.

Sadly it has been observed that countries indirectly involved in this crisis are further adding fuel to the fire by sending weapons and ammunitions instead of working for peace and dialogue.

China presented a five-point agenda to resolve the conflict in Ukraine by addressing the concerns of all stakeholders, including Russia.

China took a principle stance based on the UN Charter, and as a responsible international actor, China has offered all efforts to resolve the conflict through dialogue.

Based on the just evaluation, China has also abstained from voting on the recent UNGA and UNSC sessions reflecting the country’s position on the ongoing conflict based on upholding UN values without discrimination and taking sides.

China has presented the five points necessary to understand the country’s critical stance on the Ukraine crisis. The first and the most important one is the need to abide by the UN charter in its entirety which calls for respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

This stance has been reiterated by China at all the global forums and always promoted this being an essential member of the global community.

Respecting sovereignty has remained an essential cornerstone of China’s foreign relations, whether immediate neighbors or on the global scale. This position should be applied equally to all states in the Ukraine crisis.

Only common, comprehensive, and sustainable security cooperation can potentially beat the menace of territorial expansion in the modern world.

The second critical stance on the Ukraine issue is based on the fact that China advocates common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security.

It is important to realize here that one country’s security cannot be achieved at the cost of another state, as the case represents in Ukraine. The presence of military organizations in multiple regions must adhere to the regional security dynamics and render respect to the security concerns of native states.

China laments the Cold War mentality seeking expansion of NATO Eastward only to provoke the adversaries and destabilize the global peace. China supports Russian concerns over the five steps NATO took to expand its footprint at Russian borders and calls for security guarantees of significant states in the region.

The third important policy point on the issue is that China asks all parties to exercise necessary restraint to prevent the current situation in Ukraine. This is a crucial step as there is a need to put water on the fire and ease the tension before it gets escalated to out of control.

There should be a guarantee on protecting civilians, safe passage for refugees, and preventing a large-scale humanitarian crisis is looming. China promotes the diplomatic channel of dialogue for immediate crisis management.

The fourth point urged the parties to negotiate as Russian and Ukrainian leaders met in Belarus to diffuse the crisis and understand each other’s positions. China believes that Ukraine must act as a bridge between Asia and Europe instead of a wrestling ring for global heavyweights.

In a bid to develop global diplomacy efforts, China has outreached to the UK, France, and Germany to ensure indivisible security in Eastern Europe. There is a need to maintain a delicate military balance in the foreign territories between Europe and Russia.

Last but not least, the fifth point asserts the centrality of the UN Security Council to preempt the military conflicts in the world.

China calls on the UN Security Council to play a constructive role in resolving the Ukraine crisis and ensure regional security and stability in the longer run. Furthermore, China disapproves of the sanctions on aggressors under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and calls the UN to play a positive role in resolving conflicts.

Recent drafts in the UNGA were hasty and without consultation within the community. The resolution draft did not consider the historical complexity, principle of indivisible security, political settlement, and stepping up of diplomatic efforts. That is the reason China abstained from voting in the UNGA special session.

This five-point concern of China reflects the Chinese state position, which calls out the military operation and brings the perpetrators to the fore for their provocations.

Such a delicately balanced approach could only be expected from China, uniquely placed in the international system, to broker a peace deal to end the conflict. This war is at the cost of peace, but the peace must be restored with the consensus among direct parties and significant stakeholders.

The international community must take a responsible stance on the issue and, instead of adding fuel to the fire, rely on dialogue, diplomacy, and consultation for a sustainable resolution of the Ukraine issue.

*The writer is the Founder, of Friends of BRI Forum