Ukraine Peace Talks Urged by France and China as Xi Calls for Restraint

On Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in Beijing to dissuade China from supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Following a signing ceremony, Macron and Xi held discussions focused largely on the war in Ukraine, during which they found agreement on principles.

Xi urged all political partners to exercise restraint in Ukraine and expressed China’s hope for a political solution to bring about peace. He also condemned the bombing of civilians, stating the need to protect them and prevent the use of nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, Macron strongly denounced the humanitarian violations in Ukraine and spoke out against the use of nuclear weapons, using more forceful language than Xi.

The French leader made an appeal for peace talks, emphasizing the importance of establishing sustainable and long-lasting peace in Europe. He stressed the need for engaging in more rigorous diplomatic discussions with Russia. Although he did not explicitly mention China, he urged countries worldwide to assume responsibility for promoting peace, particularly during the current uncertain period. On a prior occasion, Macron exchanged greetings with Xi, shaking hands outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, which is the central power hub of the city. Xi welcomed the French president with a lavish display, featuring a grand red carpet, and national anthems of both nations playing in the background, according to an AFP journalist.

At the start of the meeting between Xi and Macron, Chinese state media reported Xi as saying that the relationship between China and France is “positive and steady,” while acknowledging that the world is undergoing significant historical changes. Meanwhile, Macron expressed his reliance on Xi to urge Russia to resolve the conflict in Ukraine by bringing them to the negotiating table. Despite mounting pressure on China from the West to contribute to the resolution of the Ukraine conflict, Beijing remains officially neutral, with Xi having never publicly condemned Russia’s actions. Moreover, Xi has not even spoken with Ukrainian President Zelensky, while he recently reaffirmed his alliance with Putin in Moscow. Macron, who is accompanied by European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, emphasized his desire to “unite Europe” over Ukraine and underscored the consistency of his approach by coming to China with her.


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