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China and “the end of unilateral sanctions”

Raquel Vaz Pinto

The Russian War in Ukraine reached the end of its first year on Friday, and that same day, the People’s Republic of China released a document with the following title: “China’s Position on the Political Resolution of the Ukraine Crisis”.

Two aspects immediately stand out: the formulation of this Political Position and the option for the word «Crisis» and not the obvious one, that is, War. Because now? The moment is also explained by the fact that Turkey, until now the country that has invested the most in an eventual mediation of the War, is turned inwards due to the post-earthquake humanitarian catastrophe.

The document itself only consists of 12 points. Beyond the rhetoric and those round expressions like “international community”, it is worth highlighting two aspects.

The first is related to the nuclear (and also chemical and biological) dimension of this war.

It is, of course, very positive that Beijing reiterates the essence of what it said to the German Chancellor in November, namely that “nuclear threats are irresponsible and incendiary”.

Secondly, we find the following gem in point 10: “unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot resolve the issue; they only give rise to new problems. China opposes unilateral sanctions not authorized by the UN Security Council”.

And, as a final shot, I want to point out that this document is proof of China’s greater role in the world. But will it be a right step towards the end of the War? At first glance, not so much. We have to wait for the next initiatives from Beijing.

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Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

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