Chinese think tank predicts Russia-Ukraine conflict will end before autumn of 2023: Report


New Delhi: A top Chinese think tank close to the nation’s armed forces has predicted that the Russia-Ukraine conflict will end before autumn of 2023, according to a report.

Beijing considered the assessment to be solid enough to try to assume the role of a mediator in the standoff before it potentially ends, said Russia Today citing Japan’s Nikkei newspaper.

The prediction was made by the Beijing-based think tank Academy of Military Sciences (AMS) that reports directly to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and regularly issues recommendations to China’s top military decision-making body.

According to the report, AMS issued its appraisal of the conflict as early as December.

Imminent end to the hostilities?

The report added Beijing decided take a more active role in seeking a resolution as the think tank predicted a likely imminent end to the hostilities.

The AMS forecast based on a military simulation of the ongoing conflict suggested that it would “draw to a close around summer 2023,” with Russia “having the upper hand,” Russia Today cited the Nikkei newspaper as claiming.

The think tank believes that both the Russian and Ukrainian economies would be hard pressed to sustain the hostilities past the summer.

The report claimed that the AMS analysis prompted Beijing to come up with a peace proposal.

With this initiative, China sought to restore relations with Europe to ensure the continued flow of investment and technologies to the Chinese economy, the report said. Another of Beijing’s goals was to maintain friendly relations with Kiev, the paper suggested.

“Along with Russia, we can’t afford to lose Ukraine,” a Chinese government source told the newspaper. The media outlet also claimed that Beijing was contemplating sending economic aid to Kiev as part of its peace plan.

Success in the mediation efforts would also help China assume a more prominent position in the eyes of Global South, the newspaper claimed, calling it another reason behind the initiative. To achieve this, Chinese President Xi Jinping is considering a visit to Moscow, the paper claimed.

Beijing has not officially announced any such plans. The Wall Street Journal reported on supposed preparations for a visit in late February. According to the media outlet, Xi may come to Moscow in late April or early May in an attempt to push for multi-party peace talks.

China’s peace plan

Last month, China released its position paper on the Russia-Ukraine war, in which it calls for a ceasefire and talks between the two parties. The proposal was timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

In its paper, Beijing wrote, “Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiralling out of control.”

The peace plan further states, “All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually deescalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire.”

“Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” it said, adding that China will play a “constructive role,” without offering details.

The plan, which was released by its foreign ministry, also urged Western nations to end its sanctions against Russia. Beijing wrote without naming the countries that they “should stop abusing unilateral sanctions” and “do their share in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis”.

Furthermore, it called for the establishment of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians and steps to ensure the export of grain after disruptions caused global food prices to spike last year.

The proposal, without naming Russia or Ukraine, also stated that sovereignty of all countries should be upheld.

Beijing’s peace plan also stated that nuclear power plants should be kept safe and the threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed. “We oppose development, use of biological or chemical weapons by any country under any circumstances,” the paper said.

The proposal also called for an end to “Cold War mentality”. “The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs,” the proposal stated.

With inputs from agencies

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Chinese think tank predicts Russia-Ukraine conflict will end before autumn of 2023: Report
Chinese think tank predicts Russia-Ukraine conflict will end before autumn of 2023: Report
ASE News
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