China’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is outlined in the 12 points of “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis,” released in February 2023. Cooling down, de-escalation, and ceasefire are the fundamental direction of China’s policy as an interim measure.
Regarding the reasons for the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China holds its own understanding. However, securing a ceasefire is the first priority to prevent further escalation, particularly to a nuclear war. China opposes war and the active support of other countries leading to the prolongation of the conflict.
China is striving to avoid the Russia-Ukraine conflict from causing greater chaos and turbulence in the international situation. Therefore, China’s policy is not to take sides but to act as a mediator. China aims to maintain relations with all parties involved and reflects its consistent thinking of maintaining balance and not going to extremes.
However, the United States disagrees with China’s policy, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict has become a new point of contradiction in Sino-U.S. relations.
The main reason for this outcome is the conflicting basic ideas and policies of the two sides. The U.S. demands that China must choose a side, specifically to stand on the side of the U.S. and Europe against Russia.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has had a spill-over effect on Sino-U.S. relations, and both countries use it as a prism to view future Sino-U.S. relations, leading to negative impacts. However, the unfortunate state of China-U.S. relations did not begin with the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
China does not support war and advocates for the respect of the territorial integrity of states, but will not put China’s national interests at risk. Cooperation with Russia is considered normal and legitimate, and it is also willing to develop cooperation with the U.S., Europe, and Ukraine.
It is unrealistic to expect full cooperation between China and the U.S. on the issue of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, but there is room for cooperation in specific areas such as preventing nuclear war, stabilizing the world’s food supply, ensuring the smooth flow of international transport routes, preventing nuclear proliferation, and responding to humanitarian disasters.
In a series of articles, Chinese and American experts aim to address the misperceptions driving the mistrust in the bilateral relationship and the increasing instability. Find the whole series here.