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The Editors

Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid. Harness It

Giving Beijing a stake in ending the Ukraine war will reduce its incentive to arm Russia. 

Time to talk?

Time to talk?

Photographer: Pavel Byrkin/AFP/Getty Images

During a three-day visit to Moscow last week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping again promoted a vague, 12-point list of principles for ending the war in Ukraine, in an effort to position China as a global peacemaker. The US has cast doubt on Beijing’s motivations and willingness to follow through on any real mediation effort in Ukraine. Rather than dismissing Xi’s diplomatic aspirations out of hand, however, the West should look to take advantage of them.

China’s new effort on Ukraine follows a notable success in brokering a deal to restore relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Saudi-Iran pact was a real achievement, easing years of enmity and potentially paving the way for a negotiated end to the war in Yemen. While US President Joe Biden’s administration has expressed skepticism about Iran’s willingness to hold up its end of the bargain, both the US and the European Union have publicly endorsed the agreement as a step toward stabilizing the Middle East.