‘Bring Russia to its senses,’ Macron urges Xi during China visit – National

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was greeted by President Vladimir Putin in Moscow last month, to help “bring Russia back to its senses” and bring “lasting peace” to Ukraine. appealed to

Macron pointed to China’s support for the UN Charter and the nuclear deal, which call for respect for the country’s territorial integrity. He said the peace and stability on which they are based is threatened by the Russian president’s aggression against Ukraine.

Xi Jinping’s government has tried to feign neutrality after declaring it had “endless friendship” with Russia ahead of the February 2022 attacks. Beijing called for peace talks.

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“I know that under the two principles I have just stated, we can count on bringing Russia back to its senses and bringing everyone back to the negotiating table,” Macron told Xi. .

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“We need to find a lasting peace,” Macron said.

Xi did not mention Ukraine or Russia, but said he welcomed relations with France. He said Beijing and Paris were “firm champions of global multipolarization”, referring to reducing US dominance in economic and political affairs.

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The Xi Jinping administration sees Russia as a source of energy and a partner against US aggression and unwarranted criticism of their human rights record.

China is Russia’s biggest buyer of oil and gas, supporting revenues for the Kremlin, which faces Western sanctions. While this would increase China’s influence, Xi appears reluctant to put pressure on Putin and jeopardize that partnership.

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China’s foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said, “China has always adhered to an objective and fair stance on the issue of the Ukraine crisis. We have advocated a political solution to the crisis and promoted peace negotiations. rice field.”

Earlier, in a meeting with Li Qiang, the second leader of the ruling Communist Party, Macron hoped France would “forge a common path” to deal with “all major conflicts” in addition to Ukraine. said.

Li said there was likely to be a “broad consensus” between Macron and Xi Jinping, but did not say whether Beijing was willing to reach out to Moscow to reach peace. .

Click to play video: 'Putin told US that aid to Ukraine in 2014 led to the current situation'

Putin told US that aid to Ukraine in 2014 led to the current situation

The conference “sends a positive signal of concerted efforts by China, France and Europe to maintain world peace and stability,” Li said.

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President Macron accompanied European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to Beijing to demonstrate European unity.

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Last week, von der Leyen warned that the European Union must be prepared to take steps to protect trade and investment that China could use for security and military purposes.

Meanwhile, NATO’s 31 member states warned Wednesday of “serious consequences” if China started sending arms and ammunition to Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said giving lethal aid would be a “historic mistake”. He warned of “serious consequences” but gave no details.

Chinese spokesperson Mao Zedong rejected NATO’s criticism.

“As for responsibility in Ukraine, I think the US and military blocs such as NATO should be held accountable,” Mao said. “NATO is not in a position to criticize or pressure China.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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