“On the Side of Diplomacy” (II)

At the Munich Security Conference China announced an initiative to end the Ukraine war. The Global South is in support, the West – including Germany – is opposed.

MUNICH (Own report) – At the Munich Security Conference (MSC) over the weekend, China’s top-ranking foreign policy official announced an initiative to end the Ukraine war. According to Wang Yi, Beijing will soon present a document outlining the Chinese position on settling the Ukraine crisis. China’s initiative echoes demands for a negotiated settlement of the Ukraine crisis, which have long been raised in the Global South. Recently Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced the creation of a “Peace Club” of states, which advocate ending the Ukraine war. India is also striving to negotiate with both sides. About ten days ago, its National Security Advisor visited Moscow for talks with President Vladimir Putin. Turkey had, in the past, successfully moderated talks already between Russia and Ukraine. However, in the spring of 2022, a potential peace agreement failed, due to Western interventions. Banking on Ukraine’s military victory, Berlin is also opposing Beijing’s most recent mediation proposal.

China’s Negotiation Initiative

On Saturday, at this year’s Munich Security Conference, Wan Yi, former Chinese foreign minister and – as Director of the Chinese Communist Party’s Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs – his country’s top-ranking foreign policy official, announced Beijing’s initiative to end the Ukraine war. The People’s Republic will soon present a document outlining China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. According to Wang the document will insist on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. He also emphasized this at the Munich Security Conference, but refused to apply this solely to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. He explicitly included the constant aggressions by Western States – from their wars, to their excessive sanctions policies, to their regular interference in the internal affairs of foreign nations.[1] According to – unconfirmed – reports, President Xi Jinping will hold a speech pleading for peace talks on the anniversary of Russia’s intervention. Wang planned to travel directly to Moscow from Munich to hold talks on ending the Ukraine war.

Lula’s “Peace Club”

In the Global South, China’s initiative to end the Ukraine war is meeting with broad approval. Recently Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that he is engaged in mediation efforts to end the war and is advocating the creation of a “Peace Club” („clube da paz”). It should be a group of countries that are not directly involved with either of the two warring parties, and that seek an early end to the war.[2] Brazil wants to make an important contribution. Brazil categorically rejects supplying arms and ammunition to Ukraine, as German Chancellor had recently demanded.[3] Lula sees China as having crucial influence and calls on Beijing “to roll up their sleeves” to end the Ukraine war.[4] He is expected to negotiate with President Xi Jinping in the Chinese capital at the end of March. Lula also has India and Turkey in mind as members of the “Peace Club.” Who are not being considered, are the USA and European countries, that have imposed sanctions on Russia and, have de facto long since become warring parties with their arms deliveries to Ukraine.

“From War Strategies to Templates for Peace”

India, which Lula named as a potential member of the “clube da paz,” is also very interested in a negotiated settlement. Despite enormous pressure from Western countries, India continues to refuse to take sides in the Ukrainian war. It is even significantly expanding its economic cooperation with Russia. In light of this, New Delhi is repeatedly considered a possible mediator and, since some time, has already been engaged in talks with Moscow about a possible end to the war. This was also the case, when Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was in Moscow for extensive talks in November. Around ten days ago, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval visited Russia’s capital. There, he even had been granted an audience with President Vladimir Putin, personally – which Putin rarely grants officials, who are not heads of states or governments.[5] In late January, the influential think tank, the Observer Research Foundation, headquartered in New Delhi, published a study on possibilities for reaching a negotiated settlement to the war. The global conversation needs to shift “from war strategies to templates for peace,” advises the paper – everything else is “much too dangerous for the world.”[6]

Successful Mediator

Turkey, which Lula also names as a potential “Peace Club” member, had already begun, shortly after Russia entered the war, to assume the task of mediator. It promoted, for example, the talks that, in late March, brought Moscow and Kiev closer to a peace agreement than they had ever been before or since, the opportunity to reach an agreement on at least a ceasefire, during a meeting in Istanbul, was coldly quashed by Western powers. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[7]) The Turkish government was then able to mediate an agreement for grain deliveries through the Black Sea in talks between the Russian and Ukrainian sides. This is characterized as the biggest and most important negotiation success during the Ukraine war. In a phone call on January 20, with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared Ankara remains ready to provide diplomatic support in peace negotiations. Four days earlier, he had made the same offer to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during a phone call.[8]

The West against the South

Whereas various countries of the Global South are attempting to mediate between Moscow and Kiev, and thus have constantly launched new initiatives, the German government, until now, has shown no sign of interest in a negotiated settlement. “Ukraine must win this war,” declared Defense Minister Boris Pistorius during the weekend at the Munich Security Conference.[9] To Wang’s announcement in Munich that China will seek negotiations in the Ukraine war, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock replied that, the war cannot end without Russia withdrawing its troops from Ukraine. By making a conceivable result of the negotiations a prerequisite for the talks, Baerbock has erected another obstacle.[10] Thus, Berlin is not only blocking the way to a rapid end of the Ukraine war, it is simultaneously openly opposing the Global South.


For more on this subject) : “On the Side of Diplomacy” and The Western War Objectives.


[1] Wang Yi calls for mutual trust to promote a safer world. news.cgtn.com 19.02.2023.

[2] Patrícia Campos Mello: Lula vai apresentar a Biden ideia de ‘clube da paz’ para Ucrânia com participação da China. folha.uol.com.br 08.02.2023.

[3] See also “On the Side of Diplomacy”.

[4] Patrícia Campos Mello: Lula vai apresentar a Biden ideia de ‘clube da paz’ para Ucrânia com participação da China. folha.uol.com.br 08.02.2023.

[5] Shekhar Iyer: Is Modi working to end the Russia-Ukraine war before the G20 summit? newsdrum.in 15.02.2023.

[6] Ajay Bisaria, Ankita Dutta: The Ukraine Conflict: Pathways to Peace. orfonline.org 27.01.2023.

[7] See also The Western War Objectives.

[8] Jamie Goodwin: Erdogan tells Zelenskyy he is willing to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. thenationalnews.com 20.01.2023.

[9] Pistorius wird deutlich: „Die Ukraine muss diesen Krieg gewinnen”. rnd.de 18.02.2023.

[10] Kommt die chinesische Friedensinitiative? tagesschau.de 18.02.2023.