NATO, EU Reject China’s Attempt to Pose as Neutral Peacemaker in Russia-Ukraine War

NATO and the European Union (EU) have expressed disapproval of China's attempt to style itself as a neutral peacemaker in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU foreign policy spokesperson Nabila Massrali both criticized Beijing's “position paper”, which outlines its view on how to settle the “Ukraine crisis” without referring to it as a war.[0]

Stoltenberg said China doesn't have much credibility when it comes to the situation in Ukraine, as it has not been able to condemn Russia's illegal invasion.[0] He added that sending lethal aid to Russia would be a “very big mistake” and “very serious”.[0]

Massrali accused the Chinese paper of focusing on the “so-called ‘legitimate security interests and concerns' of parties, implying a justification for Russia’s illegal invasion, and blurring the roles of the aggressor and the aggressed”.[1]

China's permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, urged NATO to abandon the Cold War mentality and stop “being a troublemaker”.[2] He also stressed that the Ukraine crisis is “related to NATO's constant eastern expansion since the Cold War”.[3]

Zhang further noted that pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight, and urged all parties to cease fire and start peace negotiations as soon as possible.[3]

He also called on major countries to behave in a way commensurate with their status, and for all peace-loving countries to unite under the banner of the UN to maintain common security, promote common development, and create a shared future.[2]

0. “NATO and EU give sceptical reaction to China's peace proposal for Ukraine” EURACTIV, 24 Feb. 2023,

1. “You ain’t no middleman: EU and NATO slam China’s bid to be a Ukraine peacemaker” POLITICO Europe, 24 Feb. 2023,

2. “Chinese envoy urges NATO to stop ‘being a troublemaker'” China Daily, 18 Feb. 2023,

3. “GLOBALink | Chinese envoy urges NATO to contribute positively to world peace, stability” Xinhua, 18 Feb. 2023,

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