Macron in China, summit with Xi Jinping: “I’m counting on Beijing to bring Russia to reason”

Emmanuel Macron, on his second day of visit to China, meets the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, who welcomed him with a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, on Tiananmen Square. The French president, in the early stages of

open to the media, he told his counterpart to “count” on him to “bring Russia back to its senses”. Macron is visiting with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on a mission that has at its heart the efforts to end the war in Ukraine (LIVE UPDATES). Before the summit with Xi, in the morning, Macron met the Chinese prime minister, Li Qiang, who underlined the importance of relations between China and France.

Peace talks and no to nuclear power

Macron and Xi Jinping have called for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine “as soon as possible”, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, the Chinese president explained in particular, taking into account “the legitimate concerns of security of all parties, seeking a political solution and building a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework”. Then they said they were against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Xi, in particular, urged “to seriously implement the solemn pledge not to use nuclear weapons and not to fight nuclear wars.” Furthermore, opposition “to the use of biological and chemical weapons in any circumstance”, added the Chinese president when meeting the press with Macron, as well as “to armed attacks on nuclear power plants and other civilian nuclear facilities”. Xi also spoke of cooperation “to address the spillover effects of the Ukrainian crisis in food, energy, finance, transportation and other fields”, in order to “reduce the negative impact of the Ukrainian crisis on the world, especially on Developing countries”.

Sources: ‘Xi told Macron he wanted to call Zelensky’

Xi Jinping, as reported by a French diplomat to AFP, told Macron that he is ready to call the Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky at the right time. For his part, the French president “urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping not to hand Russia anything that could be used in its war against Ukraine”. On the Ukrainian crisis, Beijing insists “on promoting peace talks and a political solution”, expressing its willingness to collaborate with France to invite the international community to “maintain rational moderation and avoid undertaking actions” that could aggravate the crisis or “get it out of control”. The Chinese president explained that “we must strictly respect international humanitarian law, refrain from attacking civilians and civilian structures and protect women, children and other victims of conflicts”.

Von der Leyen: “Sending arms to Russia would damage relations”

After the bilateral, there was a meeting between Xi Jinping Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen. “I encouraged President Xi Jinping to contact President Zelensky. It was interesting to hear President Xi reiterate his willingness to talk (with him) when the time and conditions are most appropriate,” said the Commission Chair. European. You then stressed that sending arms from China to Russia would “significantly harm” relations between Brussels and Beijing, because “assisting an aggressor would be contrary to international law”. Beijing, she added, has a responsibility to use its influence against Russia and the EU is “counting” on it to do so. During the meeting the Taiwan dossier was also discussed, raising the principle – said von der Leyen – that “the use of force is unacceptable for changing the status quo”.

China’s role in the conflict in Ukraine

In recent weeks, international pressure has increased on China to be involved in the peace process in Ukraine. Although Beijing officially declares itself neutral, Xi Jinping has never condemned the Russian invasion and has never spoken on the phone with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodomyr Zelensky. Instead, he recently went to Moscow to reaffirm his alliance with the Russian president. In this context, Emmanuel Macron has the ambition to “be a voice that unites Europe”, as he recalled yesterday. And therefore coming to Beijing accompanied by the President of the European Commission “means underlining the coherence of this approach”. Yesterday, the French president said Beijing could play an “important role” in “finding a path to peace” in Ukraine, welcoming China’s “willingness to commit to conflict resolution” when it published in February a 12-point document summarizing its position. Ursula von der Leyen, on the other hand, issued a much harsher warning last week in Brussels: “How China continues to react to Putin’s war will be a determining factor for the future of EU-China relations”.