Beijing could convince the world that Washington does not want an end to the conflict, Bloomberg has reported, citing a White House official
There is a "sense of unease" in the White House about the consequences of its dismissal of the Chinese peace plan for Ukraine, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing an unnamed official in the administration of President Joe Biden.
In February, the US publicly brushed off the roadmap for peace presented by China for the conflict between Russia and its neighbor.
However, Bloomberg reported that Washington now fears it could be "backed into a corner" by Beijing's proposals, with the Biden administration said to be concerned that it has created the impression that the US does not want peace.
America's stance could be used by Beijing to convince nations that are weary of the conflict that the US has no interest in ending the hostilities, Bloomberg added.
"China will likely ramp up messaging that the US is opposed to a ceasefire, that the US is opposed to the end of the war," former Pentagon official Bonny Lin, who is now a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the media outlet.
The Bloomberg report follows a three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow this week, during which he held extensive talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Moscow had previously welcomed the Chinese peace initiative for Ukraine, and during this week's talks Putin expressed his readiness to discuss and build upon it. He also reiterated that Moscow is willing to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
The peace plan presented by China called for the resumption of talks between Moscow and Kiev. It also condemned unilateral sanctions, and urged the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations to be upheld.
Along with Washington, other Western powers largely brushed off the initiative, with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claiming that China does not have "much credibility" on the issue. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did later admit that the plan includes "positive elements."
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for failing to prevent what he described as a "wedding" between Moscow and Beijing. Downplaying the increasingly close ties between Russia and China "is an enormous strategic mistake," Pompeo insisted.