In the intricate web of global geopolitics, China has once again vocalized its belief that a ceasefire and subsequent peace talks stand as the exclusive solution to the ongoing Ukraine crisis. This position was articulated by Vice President Han Zheng during his speech at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
With tensions rising after Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, China's reaffirmation comes at a crucial juncture. “Cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks is the only way to settle the Ukraine crisis,” Han declared, emphasizing Beijing's desire for a peaceful resolution.
However, doubts cloud China's neutrality. Despite its proclaimed role as a mediator, there's significant skepticism internationally. This mistrust primarily stems from China's strengthening relationship with Russia. The symbolic camaraderie between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, became evident when Xi visited Moscow in March, heralding a "new era" of collaboration between the two nations.
With Putin slated to visit China in the upcoming month, many question where China's loyalties truly lie.
China's Vision for the Future: Challenging Western Dominance
Shifting from the conflict in Ukraine, Han Zheng also took the opportunity to elucidate China's broader vision for the global stage.
He described an aspiration for an alternative world order, a departure from what China perceives as "Western hegemony." This sentiment is not new but resonates deeply with the developing nations that often feel overshadowed by Western powers.
In his appeal to the developing world, Han accentuated China's identity as a leading member of the Global South. “As the largest developing country, China is a natural member of the Global South. It breathes the same breath with other developing countries and shares the same future with them,” he remarked.
China's commitment extends beyond mere words. Han assured that China stands ready to support these nations, respecting and fostering their unique developmental trajectories "in keeping with their national conditions".