Macron Looks to Xi for Help in Resolving Ukraine Conflict

Thu Apr 06 2023
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BEIJING: French President Emmanuel Macron has called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to “bring Russia to its senses” and end its war in Ukraine.

Macron, who is on a three-day state visit to China, is seeking to dissuade China from supporting Russia’s invasion of its neighbour.

The two leaders released a joint statement calling for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow “as soon as possible”.

Macron has praised China’s potential to mediate in the conflict and has welcomed its “willingness to commit to a resolution”.

However, Moscow has poured cold water on prospects for Chinese mediation, insisting on Thursday it has “no choice” but to press on with its offensive.

Macron’s visit to China comes as Western pressure mounts on Beijing to help push for peace in Ukraine.

Beijing is officially neutral but has never condemned the Russian invasion.

Xi recently reaffirmed his alliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin but has not spoken on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Macron has said he wants to “be a voice that unites Europe” over Ukraine and hopes to “underline the consistency of this approach” by coming to China with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen.

The visit also has an important economic component beyond talks on Ukraine, with the French leader keen to firm up a crucial trade partnership.

On his visit, Macron is accompanied by over 50 French business leaders, including top bosses of Airbus, EDF and Veolia.

Airbus has announced it will open a second final assembly line in China, doubling its production capacity in the country.

Macron’s visit to China

French President Emmanuel Macron is on a trip to China to discuss important economic issues, including a crucial trade partnership, as well as political tensions in the region.

Despite mounting Chinese pressure on Taiwan, Macron met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday to discuss the Ukraine crisis and issues related to trade and investment.

Macron is accompanied by over 50 French business leaders, including top executives from Airbus, EDF, and Veolia, and Airbus has announced that it will open a second final assembly line in China to meet the growing demand for air travel in the region.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California, despite China’s objections.

China insists that there is only “one China” and opposes any official contact between Taipei and the rest of the world.

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