Can China play peacemaker in Ukraine?

The president of the Beijing-based think tank Centre for China and Globalisation, Wang Huiyao Said China was uniquely positioned to play an intermediary role because it is a well-established trading partner to both nations. “There could be six-party talks involving the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Ukraine,” said Wang, outlining the details of how he thought peace talks could unfold. “Or five-party talks between China, the US, the EU, Russia and Ukraine.”

But China is not an impartial observer. By refusing to condemn Vladimir Putin’s aggression and calling on both Russia and Ukraine to exercise restraint, as though one had not invaded the other and they were equally culpable, Beijing has already chosen a side. While several Chinese state-owned banks have reportedly limited financing for the purchase of Russian commodities, China has also lifted restrictions on Russian wheat imports, and the country’s banking regulator has said that it will not take part in international sanctions on Russia

The Chinese have made it clear that they think Russia has legitimate security concerns. They have blamed Nato’s expansion as the cause of the problem, .”

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