What’s happening: China’s Foreign Ministry published a 12-point peace plan for Ukraine. This is China’s first act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine, though it has been allied with Russia since the beginning of the conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Beijing’s efforts and plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss further.
The proposed peace plan: The plan calls for “respecting the sovereignty of all countries,” “ceasing hostilities,” “resuming peace talks,” “resolving the humanitarian crisis,” “protecting civilians and prisoners of war,” and “post-conflict reconstruction.” It also includes economic objectives, like “stopping unilateral sanctions” and keeping supply chains stable. President Joe Biden and German officials feel that the peace plan is just noise, considering that it doesn’t address Ukraine’s sovereignty or territorial integrity.
China’s increasing involvement: Zelensky, Biden, and now the CIA are all concerned that China may be on the brink of sending “lethal aid” to Russia. The U.S. is trying to talk China down, threatening that its involvement would be a “serious problem.” China may be coordinating with Russia as its top diplomat visited Moscow just days before the plan was released.
Big picture: The Ukraine-Russia conflict has become a proxy war, with President Biden continuously committing U.S. support to Ukraine through weaponry and hundreds of billions of dollars. China likely sees geopolitical benefit in involving itself in America’s proxy war, as it currently finds itself in a cold conflict with the U.S. and worried about potential conflicts regarding Taiwan.