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China’s Obscure Role in the War in Ukraine and Beijing’s 12 Points for Peace

China’s 12 Points for Peace in Ukraine

March 2023

Against all odds, the war in Ukraine has not turned out to be a real challenge for Russia-China relations. Although China’s criticism on the war has taken place in a few occasions, it’s been relatively soft in comparison with that of the West, and their relationship differs little from the one displayed on the 4th of February of 2022. That day, merely a month before the start of the invasion, Xi Jinping and Putin gathered in Beijing with the occasion of the opening ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games. Shortly after, they released a joint statement calling on the world’s countries to “pursue well-being for all”, praising “universal human values such as peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom”. The statement also emphasized the need to respect the sovereignty and security of countries, together with the “United-Nations-driven international law-based order” (President of Russia, 2022). The 2030 Sustainable Agenda, the WTO or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization were also referred as key elements to secure international security, in contrast with the “US plans to develop global missile defence”, referred to as a threat. The communiqué finishes by remembering that China and Russia’s friendship “has no limits”, with “no forbidden areas of cooperation”.

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