Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on his arrival in Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

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On the afternoon of March 21 local time, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly signed and released the Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era. On the Ukraine issue, the two sides believe that the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter must be observed and international law must be respected. The Russian side reaffirms its commitment to the resumption of peace talks as soon as possible and welcomes China's willingness to play a positive role for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Ukraine crisis. The two sides stress that responsible dialogue is the best way for appropriate solutions.

The Joint Statement, as well as the in-depth talks between the two heads of state and the press conference on March 20 and 21, have sent out an important message that is peaceful, rational, and helpful to cool down the situation. This has become even more valuable at a moment when the Russia-Ukraine conflict has fallen into a stalemate. Under the current circumstances, any efforts in promoting peace talks and improving the atmosphere for negotiations in the international community are of great significance and can be regarded as a great virtue. This is also an important connotation of President Xi's trip of peace.

During the meeting with President Putin, President Xi emphasized that "the more difficulties there are, the greater the need to keep space for peace. The more acute the problem is, the more important it is not to give up efforts for dialogue. China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Ukraine issue." This was positively responded by President Putin, who stated that Russia has carefully studied China's position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine issue and is open to talks for peace. Previously, the Ukrainian side also made positive comments on China's stance. Obviously, China's persistent peace efforts have produced results, increasing the hope and motivation of the international community's peace forces. This is very precious.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has been dragging on for over one year. For Russia and Ukraine, the longer the conflict persists, the greater the pain and losses it will cause, and ultimately, it still needs to be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. For most countries in the international community, they support easing tensions and advocating for peace talks. But why does the conflict drag on? On the one hand, it is related to the high complexity of the Ukraine issue itself, and on the other hand, it is also related to the poor role played by the US and NATO in the outbreak and escalation of the conflict.

The US and NATO's inflammatory remarks and actions that add fuel to the fire of the Ukraine crisis need to be counterbalanced by peace forces; the Cold War mentality and security concept of camp confrontation need to be overcome and transcended from the perspective of a community with a shared future for mankind; the simplified understanding of the Ukraine issue widely propagated by Western countries needs more elaboration on the complex and specific historical and current realities of the issue to correct misconceptions. Although China is not a party to the Ukraine crisis, it has not chosen to stand idly by, and its constructive role has been demonstrated in the above aspects. The development of the situation increasingly proves that China's stance and actions are on the right side of history.

Regarding the Ukraine issue, China has no selfish interests but prioritizes interests of the international community, with pure and open motives. The international community now has high expectations for China to facilitate dialogue for peace, which reflects people's disappointment with the US and the West, as well as their genuine appreciation for China's actions. China's successful mediation in the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia has increased international confidence in China's diplomacy and demonstrated the immense value of China's Global Security Initiative. Although the Ukraine issue is different from the Saudi Arabia-Iran issue, it also requires upholding the vision of a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security as well as insisting on equal, rational, and practical dialogue and negotiation.

Understanding this, China has been patient and benevolent since the outbreak of the crisis, tirelessly working to promote peace talks. The high-level strategic mutual trust between China and Russia is an important foundation for this positive interaction, and it has added weight to the peace side of the scale. In contrast, some Western countries on one hand coldly criticize and slander China's peace efforts, on the other, they intentionally frame China as if it will be a failure if China's diplomatic efforts failed to immediately stop the fighting. This self-contradiction exposes their ugly mentality, and their selfish actions are in opposition to the efforts of pursuing peace.

A gentleman is open and poised. China sincerely hopes that the Ukraine crisis can be resolved as soon as possible and is willing to be a bridge for communication between conflicting parties. China's enormous contribution to world peace and stability will continue to be proven in diplomatic practices. President Xi's trip of peace has won wide support and applause from the world, which is the most powerful proof.

This page is provided in cooperation with People's Daily Online.
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