Beijing, Apr 06 (AP):
French President Emmanuel Macron appealed on Thursday to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who received an effusive welcome from Vladimir Putin in Moscow last month, to “bring Russia to its senses” and help make “lasting peace” in Ukraine.
Macron pointed to Chinese support for the United Nations Charter, which calls for respect of a country’s territorial integrity, and for nuclear agreements. He said peace and stability based on those were threatened by the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine.
Xi’s government declared it had a “no limits friendship” with Russia ahead of the February 2022 attack but has tried to appear neutral. Beijing has called for peace talks.
“I know I can count on you, under the two principles I just mentioned, to bring Russia to its senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table,” Macron told Xi.
“We need to find a lasting peace,” Macron said. “I believe that this is also an important issue for China, as much as it is for France and for Europe.”
Xi didn’t mention Ukraine or Russia but said he welcomed relations with France. He said Beijing and Paris are “staunch promoters of multipolarization of the world,” a reference to reducing U.S. dominance in economic and political affairs.
Xi’s government sees Russia as a source of energy and as a partner in opposing what they say is U.S. aggression and unfair criticism of their human rights records.
China is the biggest buyer of Russian oil and gas, which helps prop up the Kremlin’s revenue in the face of Western sanctions. That increases Chinese influence, but Xi appears reluctant to jeopardize that partnership by pressuring Putin.
“China has always adhered to an objective and fair position on the issue of the Ukraine crisis,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning. “We have been an advocate of a political solution to the crisis and a promoter of peace talks.”
Earlier, Macron said during a meeting with the ruling Communist Party’s No. 2 leader, Premier Li Qiang, that France wants to “build a common path” in dealing with “all the major conflicts” in addition to Ukraine.
Beijing, Apr 06 (AP):