China's President Xi Jinping is set to discuss a 12-point peace proposal to end the war in Ukraine during his visit to Moscow. The proposal is China's way of acting as a mediator in ending Russia's invasion.
Xi's visit to Russia - his first in nearly four years - was in part to promote "peace", revealed Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, reports Independent.
In the proposal, Xi's government reiterates Beijing's claim about being neutral, despite blocking efforts at the United Nations to condemn the invasion., reports the Independent.
Despite China's neutral stance, the document echoes Russian complaints that Western governments are to blame for the February 2022 invasion and criticises sanctions on Russia.
The 12-point proposal
In the document, China has called for a a ceasefire and peace talks alongside the request to the Western nations to lift the sanctions against Russia.
It says "relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions" and "do their share in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis."
The proposal condemns a "Cold War mentality," a rebuke of the United States and Nato, the US-European military alliance.
"The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs," the proposal says.
Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded a promise that Ukraine will not join the bloc before the invasion.
Beijing's full list of 12 points are:
- The sovereignty of all countries is respected
- Abandoning the Cold War mentality
- Ceasing hostilities
- Resuming peace talks
- Resolving the humanitarian crisis
- Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (PoWs)
- Keeping nuclear power plants safe
- Reducing strategic risks
- Facilitating grain exports
- Stopping unilateral sanctions
- Keeping industrial and supply chains stable
- Promoting post-conflict reconstruction
Ukraine has taken issue with Beijing's proposals for not stating that Russia should withdraw behind borders in place since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, though it later said it was open to "parts of the plan".
Russia welcomed Beijing's initiative and said it would make a "nuanced study" of the plan but has also said it sees no sign for now of a peaceful resolution.
However, China has offered contradictory statements regarding its stance. It says Russia was provoked into taking action by Nato's eastward expansion but has also claimed neutrality on the war.