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In Ukraine, China wants to be dealmaker



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As the war in Ukraine passes one year, China is seeking to capitalize on the conflict. Through its state-run media, China portrays the US and the West as the main antagonists of the war, and props itself up as a good faith negotiator and coalition-builder with Europe. China also wants to play an active role in Ukraine’s reconstruction, which could indicate that it seeks to expand its Belt and Road initiative into the war-torn country.

Claim #1: The United States and the West Are Undermining Peace

According to China’s state-run media, the United States is standing in the way of peace in Ukraine. “[S]ome in the US and the West do not seem to want the conflicting parties to return to the negotiating table, but are trying to further muddy the waters and pursue their own interests,” according to Global Times. In a similar vein, according to Xinhua, “…the United States continues to agitate the conflict and profit from it.” According to another Global Times piece, “…[t]he atmosphere and willingness to negotiate are seemingly still far from being mature given the US and NATO’s interference.” The isolation and sanctioning of Russia pursued by the US and the West amount to “impulse actions” that will ultimately “cause more bloodshed, more sacrifice and bigger property loss as it further fuels the conflict,” according to a Chinese expert as cited in a third Global Times article.

Claim #2: China is a Good Faith Peacemaker

Meanwhile, China’s state-run media portrays China as acting as a good faith peacemaker. China is “a responsible major country” that is “always willing to play a constructive role” and has “sincerity and goodwill in actively promoting peace talks,” according to Global Times. “Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, China has always stuck to doing what is right and followed the course of objectivity and justice,” the same article says brazenly. According to Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, as cited by China Daily, China pursues peace in Ukraine with “an objective and impartial attitude.” According to a Chinese expert as cited by Xinhua, “China’s proposals are in line with the general historical trend of peace and development, and serve the interests of people globally and, more importantly, the interests of Russia and Ukraine.”

Additionally, according to the CCP press, China-Russia relations are also born out of a desire for peace. According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, as cited by China Daily, “The relationship between China and Russia is built on the basis of non-alignment, non-confrontation and not targeting any third party…It is a boon for safeguarding peace and stability in the world, so there is no reason to worry about it.”

Claim #3: China is a Coalition-Builder

Not only is China a wise and benevolent peacemaker, but Europe is willing to listen to it, according to China’s state-run media. According to Chinese senior diplomat Wang Li, as cited by China Daily, “…all parties, though divided in their positions, appreciate China’s objective stance and calm attitude, and they expect Beijing to play a more active role in the political settlement of the issue.”

In a recent meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Wang Yi, Wang conveyed to France that “China attached importance to France’s role as an independent major country, and stood ready to cooperate with the international community, including France, to promote a path of political solution, and reach a ceasefire at an early date,” according to China Daily.

And according to the CCP media, China is also seeking to rehabilitate Belarus’ image for the sake of China’s reputation as a dealmaker in Ukraine. Global Times noted that Belarus’ foreign minister “completely agrees [with] and supports” China’s position paper on Ukraine. Another Global Times article cited Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko saying that “no problem in the world can be resolved without China nowadays,” and that “[i]f the world does not listen to China’s stance in this manner, it will have serious consequences.”

Claim #4: China Wants in On Post-War Reconstruction

Perhaps most revealing is that according to China’s recent position paper on Ukraine, as published in Chinese media like China Daily, “China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role” in “post-conflict reconstruction in conflict zones” and in Ukraine in particular.  A commentator in the Global Times tries to deflect any criticism of bad faith by suggesting that China would do this “in a humanitarian and not in a profit-making way.”

The mention of China’s willingness to aid in Ukraine’s reconstruction may reveal that China is making a play for Ukraine’s partnership in the Belt-and-Road Initiative. A Global Times article touts Belarus as one of the first countries to adopt China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the China-Belarus Industrial Park as “a major successful and pragmatic project” and the “pearl of the Silk Road Economic Belt.” Could Ukraine be in China’s sights for expanding its footprint in Europe?

Time will tell how much China will influence a political (or military) resolution in Ukraine. But what is known is that its state-run press is attempting to make a case to an English-speaking audience that it is China, not the US, that has the proper levelheadedness, good intentions, and clout to broker peace in Ukraine. Is China’s propaganda campaign setting the stage for it taking a more active role in the conflict?

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges Amidst Special Counsel Investigation



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In a significant development, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted on Thursday on federal gun charges as part of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing investigation. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden made false statements during the purchase of a firearm, among other charges.

The charges against Hunter Biden include:

• Making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm

• Making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer

•Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance

According to the indictment, the alleged incident occurred on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware. Hunter Biden is accused of knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement during the acquisition of a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver. According to reports from Fox News, the statement, submitted on Form 4473, falsely certified that he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance.

Furthermore, the indictment further states that between October 12, 2018, and October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden knowingly possessed the same firearm despite being an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances. This marks the first set of charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss against Hunter Biden since being granted special counsel status.

The investigation came to public attention when it was reported by Fox News in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 involving a gun owned by Hunter Biden.

Reports state that, Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, discarded the gun. Hunter’s gun was thrown away in a dumpster near a market, located close to a school. It was subsequently revealed that Hunter Biden had purchased a gun earlier that same month.

Hunter Biden’s legal troubles do not end with the gun charges. Earlier in July, an original plea agreement collapsed, which would have seen him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, thus avoiding jail time on a felony gun charge. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and related matters. The White House has declined to comment on these developments, which continue to draw significant public and media attention.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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