A year after the renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine, China has come forward with a 12-point statement of its position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. That, at least, is what is called by both the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
It is widely reported in the international news media as a peace plan. See, among others, AlJazeera, AP, BBC, CNN, DW, Guardian, New York Times, Reuters, Sky, Time (though it calls it a proposal).
But it is not a plan and China does not say it’s a plan – it’s a position according to the government and to CGTN, Beijing’s state-run English-language news channel (though, to be fair, CGTN joined the crowd and called it a plan on the second day of coverage). Further, it does not outline either what a peace settlement could consist of or a pathway for getting there. It is a statement of opinion that stays away from specifics about what its support for dialogue and negotiation could mean in practice.
And I think that in ramping up a statement of position into a peace plan that can then be criticised for lacking specifics, the news media are missing something.Continue reading