SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2023 by https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/
THOUSANDS of people hit the streets of Munich on Saturday in a number of demonstrations aimed at world leaders gathered in the southern German city for a security conference.
There were more than a dozen protests by people ranging from anti-Nato protesters, pacifists and pro-Kurdish activists to the far right.
Organisers estimated that about 10,000 had gathered in Konigsplatz for an anti-war demonstration, while a pro-Ukrainian rally took place in Odeon Plaza calling for more military support for Kiev to combat the ongoing Russian invasion.
Anti-US and anti-Nato sentiment was prominent on the banners on display in Konigsplatz.
The protests took place after the Munich Security Conference, at which European leaders vowed to increase support for Ukraine in its war against Russia.
Rejecting calls for a peace process, French President Emmanuel Macron said: “It is not the time for dialogue because we have a Russia which has chosen war, which has chosen to intensify the war and which has chosen to go as far as committing war crimes and attacking civilian infrastructure.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz urged allies to speed up the delivery of more military hardware to Ukraine.
However, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi said that his country plans to unveil a peace proposal to end the Ukraine conflict.
Mr Wang told the security conference that while his country was not directly concerned in the war, it would not “stand idly by.”
He said the proposal would highlight the importance of “the sovereignty of all countries.”
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg reacted with scepticism, calling the Chinese announcement “quite vague.”
However, in a hopeful sign, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Beijing could be an important ally in helping to stop the fighting and end the invasion.
He told journalists: “We believe that compliance with the principle of territorial integrity is China’s fundamental interest in the international arena.”
Nonetheless, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky used the conference to plead for more weapons from Europe, including cluster bombs and phosphorus munitions.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who recently blurted out that Germany itself was at war with Russia, said she welcomed China’s plan.
Ms Baerbock said: “As a permanent member of the UN security council, China has an obligation to use its influence to secure world peace.”
She added that she had held extensive talks with Mr Wang on issues including “not rewarding the attacker, the aggressor, but standing up for international law and for those who have been attacked.”