US joins EU in rejecting Beijing’s peace proposal


Sullivan dismisses 12-point peace proposal

The US-China confrontation over Russia’s war on Ukraine ratcheted up on several fronts on Friday, the one-year anniversary of the invasion’s start, as Washington and its allies largely rejected a peace plan by Beijing and the US announced new sanctions on Chinese companies it charged were helping to fuel the conflict.

The debate over China’s peace proposal also carried over to a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan dismissed the 12-point peace proposal China released earlier on Friday, telling CNN that Beijing should have ended it after the first point, which calls for “respecting the sovereignty of all countries”.

Among its other elements, the plan calls for a ceasefire, which would freeze Russian troops in place on Ukrainian territory, and for an immediate end to all sanctions not endorsed by the UN Security Council, where Russia holds veto power.

Sullivan’s rebuff was in line with that of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who implied that Beijing’s proposal had not changed their view that China had taken Russia’s side.

Eurasia Group analysts Clayton Allen and Anna Ashton said that China’s proposal was biased towards Moscow – even if it was less hostile to Washington and its allies compared to the comments that Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi had for US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Germany last week.

“Although several of the 12 points revealed Chinese concerns over actions primarily associated with Russia, it continued to echo Russia’s justifications for invasion and can largely be framed by Russia as supporting Moscow’s positions,” Allen and Ashton said in a research note.

“China’s approach suggests that they are walking a diplomatic tightrope of strengthening ties to Russia – a key geostrategic ally and counterbalance to the West – while avoiding a position that is seen as openly hostile to Western aims,” they added.

Asked whether US President Joe Biden’s administration saw China’s proposal as a “gimmick”, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby echoed Sullivan’s comment that the document should have stopped after the call to respect sovereignty. He declined to characterise it further.

In New York, in the UN Security Council on Friday, the US remained committed to a Ukrainian victory, while China put forward its plan.-Agencies