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France, EU pressuring China over Russia ties

Coordination with Beijing on the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East is “absolutely decisive,” French President Emmanuel Macron has said

French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have urged Chinese leader Xi Jinping to limit his country’s cooperation with Russia in light of the Ukraine conflict.

Coordination with Beijing on “major crises,” including Ukraine and the Middle East, is “absolutely decisive,” Macron said at the beginning of trilateral talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday.

The goal of the meeting is to express “both our shared positions and our concerns, to try to overcome them, because the future of our continent will very clearly also depend on our ability to develop balanced relations with China,” he said.

In his opening remarks, Xi said that in the current “period of turbulence and change” globally “two important forces in the world, China and Europe should… continuously make new contributions to world peace and development.” Beijing approaches its ties with the EU from “a strategic and long-term perspective,” hoping that they will help both sides “thrive,” the Chinese leader, who will also visit Hungary and Serbia as part of his European tour, added.

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FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
China causing de-industrialization in EU – von der Leyen

During a press conference after the meeting, Von der Leyen said that Brussels and Paris are counting on Beijing to “use all its influence on Russia” to stop the conflict with Ukraine. The EU chief also said that she and Macron urged Xi to make “more efforts to limit the delivery to Russia of dual-use equipment.”

The US and its European allies claim that Chinese-made circuitry, aircraft parts, and machine tools have been helping Moscow boost its military industrial capacity.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited Beijing in late April, warned that Washington was ready to introduce more sanctions against China if it does not stop sales of dual-use goods to Russia.

However, a few days later the Chinese Foreign Ministry insisted that China’s right to economic cooperation with Russia or any other country “should not be interfered with or disrupted.”

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that Beijing is a “close partner” of Moscow and that it is going to keep boosting relations with China further.

READ MORE: China vows retaliation against US ‘bullying’

In an article for the French paper Le Figaro on Thursday, Xi stressed that China was “neither a party to nor a participant” in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but that it was willing to work with the international community to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

May 06, 2024 at 08:52PM

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