Megan Hayes | News Editor
When Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February, 2022, it raised some serious concerns for a bigger war outside of just those two nations. The damage done in Ukraine was unimaginable, but still, they persisted and have still remained fighting Russia, over a year later. Now, nations like China are getting involved to put an end to the war, and namely to start to reconstruct the damage and protect the citizens in both Ukraine and Russia. On Tuesday, March 21st, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China met in person in Moscow to talk about the conflict as well as relations between countries.
The “Chinese Peace Plan” was published in February of 2023, and outlines twelve points of agreement for Russia and Ukraine. The plan starts with respecting sovereignty of all countries, abandoning cold war mentality, as well as ceasing hostility and resuming peace talks, and ends with more restorative topics like resolving humanitarian crises, protecting civilians and prisoners of war (with emphasis on ensuring safety of women and children). This plan does not outline a specific timeline or course of events for these points, which leaves a lot up for interpretation. The plan also does not outline Russia leaving Ukraine, which is Ukraine’s principal goal, and something that Russia is not ready to do. This idea of Ukraine being “ready for peace” sweeps over the countries’ main demand, which was to have Russia completely cease war and back out of their nation completely. It is not a matter of being “ready” for Ukraine, but it is a matter of giving up the main motivator for continuing to fight, framed as compliance.
Towards the end of Xi and Putin’s talk, Putin stated that "Many provisions of the Chinese peace plan can be taken as the basis for settling the conflict in Ukraine, whenever the West and Kyiv are ready for it." Ukraine has denied any grounds for talks until Russia completely withdraws from their territory. This peace plan may have not entirely resolved the conflicts that it was originally intended to resolve, but it has had some other benefits, those of which are important to the nations involved as well as the rest of the world. Most of the discussion is about trade, commerce, and partnership, but an important agreement has been reached: a nuclear war “must never be unleashed”.
As well as resolving a worry that many have had about the possible prospects of a cold war and nuclear threats, it has been dismissed. If this is for certain is still untrue, as these accords are taken from word of mouth of the two leaders. These aims towards advancements between China and Ukraine have had positives, but it also encourages worries about military support from China to Russia to get more weapons. These leaders and press have stated that the close relationship between the two countries does not constitute a “military-political alliance”. There are still a great deal of aspects up in the air right now, especially for Ukraine, but some issues are slowly being resolved as leaders are becoming more comfortable with talking about it. It is uncertain what the future holds for the Russia-Ukraine war, as well as surrounding countries, but conversations are being held to hopefully help alleviate these issues slowly, and also alleviate some concern about war advancing further.