French president Emmanuel Macron On Thursday peace was in Ukraine At the top of the agenda during his meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
“I know I can count on you to bring Russia to its senses and everyone at the negotiating table,” the French head of state told Xi during a three-day state visit to Beijing.
The two leaders called for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine “as soon as possible”.
The two, who held talks in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, also agreed that nuclear weapons should be excluded from conflict.
The Elysee Palace said the talks were “frank and constructive,” while Beijing said the talks were “friendly.”
and “in depth”.
The French President met Xi separately before a Tripartite talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
It is also expected to press the Chinese president on his relations with Russia.
While China called for a peaceful resolution to the war, it shied away from condemning Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.
Last month, Xi visited Moscow and held a meeting Lengthy talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin The two leaders celebrated their “close relationship”.
In stark contrast, Xi has not spoken on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky since the war began — even though the latter has invited him to Kiev. And he sought closer relations.
Strengthening relations between the European Union and China
The visit comes as Europe and China struggle to bridge growing differences in recent years, ranging from technological competition to the situation in Taiwan and China’s growing rapprochement with Russia despite the war in Ukraine.
before visiting, Macron said he wanted to be a “unifying voice in Europe”. over Ukraine.
Meanwhile, China hopes that the visit will help avoid the kind of deterioration in relations seen between it and the United States. Beijing sees Washington as leading efforts to contain its economic rise Recriminations have been exchanged on both sides in recent months.
However, Europe’s strong economic ties with China meant that it had to do a balancing act with Beijing.
during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li QiangMacron stressed the importance of dialogue between China and France “in these difficult times.”
This consideration of economic interests did not prevent von der Leyen from issuing a warning to Beijing in Brussels last week, saying: “How China continues to interact with Putin’s war will be a decisive factor for moving forward in relations between the European Union and China.”
Chinese state media reported that “Macron’s visit is expected to yield tangible results in promoting economic and trade cooperation between China and France, as well as increasing political mutual trust.” Global Times wrote in an editorial on Thursday.
Announcing trade deals with France and China and new investments
Although talks with Xi topped the agenda for Macron and von der Leyen, there have also been moves to inject new impetus into China-EU relations.
Macron’s delegation includes more than 50 French business leaders.
Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury said the company will open a second final assembly line in China that will double its production capacity in the country. It also signed a deal to supply 160 new aircraft to China Aviation Systems.
French state utility EDF and Chinese utility CGN have signed a deal to renew their long-standing partnership. Deals have also been signed between EDF and China Energy Investment Corporation for offshore wind power.
lo, rmt/rc (AFP, Reuters)
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