China Has Legitimate Reasons Not To Participate In The Upcoming Swiss "Peace Talks"

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 05, 2024 - 01:25 PM

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

China’s objective national interests are advanced by positioning itself to play a key role in politically resolving the Ukrainian Conflict, even though it’ll closely work in coordination with (and arguably through) Brazil to this end since the West won’t participate in potentially forthcoming Chinese-hosted talks.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman announced last Friday that her country won’t participate in the upcoming Swiss “peace talks” because they lack the “the three important elements of recognition from both Russia and Ukraine, equal participation of all parties, and fair discussion of all peace plans.” She also referenced the Sino-Brazilian joint statement from a few weeks back about their principles for peacefully resolving this conflict. What follows are several background briefings on this subject:

* 1 March: “China’s Shuttle Diplomacy Will Promote Its Peace Plan But Is Unlikely To End The Proxy War

* 20 March: “The Substance Of The Swiss Peace Talks Depends On Whether Russia Achieves A Breakthrough

* 5 May: “Medvedev Has A Point About How Next Month’s Swiss ‘Peace Talks’ Could Backfire On Ukraine

* 23 May: “Medvedev’s Tweet About The Upcoming Swiss ‘Peace Talks’ Risks Offending Close Russian Partners

* 25 May: “Russia Is Open To Compromise But Won’t Agree To A Ceasefire That Doesn’t Meet Its Interests

To summarize, China wants to lead its own peace process, but the US won’t allow Ukraine to participate in any such talks hosted by its systemic rival since it doesn’t want to give Beijing a grand diplomatic victory. The upcoming gathering in Switzerland won’t amount to anything since Russia wasn’t invited, nor would it be treated fairly if it was and it attended, which is why Medvedev doesn’t want friendly states to take part in it. At the same time, President Putin signaled Russia’s openness to compromise.

Accordingly, China believes that it’s possible for a non-Western peace process to arise in the wake of the inevitably failed Swiss one, likely in coordination with Brazil per those two’s joint statement from a few weeks back. Like Moscow, Beijing also doesn’t want other countries to attend the upcoming talks, albeit for its own reasons related to having them attend its own potentially forthcoming ones (possibly hosted by Brazil). These diplomatic dynamics are naturally occurring, but Zelensky doesn’t see things that way.

He smeared China over the weekend by claiming that “Russia, using Chinese influence on the region, using Chinese diplomats also, does everything to disrupt the peace summit. It is unfortunate that such a big, independent, powerful country as China is an instrument in the hands of Putin.” The reality is that China has legitimate reasons not to participate in the event and to encourage others to follow its lead as explained. It’s not sacrificing its objective national interests for Russia’s sake as the latter’s junior partner.

Rather, these selfsame interests are served through its analyzed policy, which aims to lay the basis for a non-Western peace process to emerge before November’s G20 Summit in Rio. The West hasn’t ever skipped a G20 Summit, and Brazil has continued voting against Russia at the UN even after Lula’s return to power so it can’t be smeared as a Russian or Chinese puppet. Thus, there’s no semi-plausible reason for the West not to participate in these talks there even if China helps organize them ahead of time.

Prior to then, there might even be a Sino-Brazilian analogue to the upcoming Swiss talks sometime later this summer wherein one of those two organizes a multilateral summit on this conflict that the West and Ukraine might decline participating in, though both would probably be invited for appearance’s sake.  Once the G20 Summit in Rio rolls around, China and Brazil could make the case that these parallel peace processes should be merged into a single one whose details would be hashed out during that meeting.

Considering how unlikely it is that the West would boycott the G20 solely because Brazil might decide to put this on the agenda, irrespective of the degree to which it’s organized and promoted by China, it’s very possible that a more inclusive and fair peace process could emerge by November. The basis upon which it would be built is China’s 12-step peace plan from last year, though perhaps with a few adjustments taking into account the need for Western and Ukrainian participation.

In any case, the point is that China’s objective national interests are advanced by positioning itself to play a key role in politically resolving the Ukrainian Conflict, even though it’ll closely work in coordination with (and arguably through) Brazil to this end since the West won’t participate in Chinese-hosted talks. Zelensky was therefore lying through his teeth yet again when he smeared China as an implied Russian puppet since it’s fiercely independent and is doing all of this on of its own free will.