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Macron after his meeting with Xi Jinping: I believe you will bring Russia to its senses

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he hoped Chinese President Xi Jinping would “bring Russia to its senses” over its war in Ukraine.

The French president, who arrived on Wednesday for a three-day state visit, made clear he was trying to dissuade China from backing the Russian invasion of the neighboring country.

“I know I can count on you to bring Russia to its senses and bring everyone to the negotiating table,” French head of state Xi said during a bilateral meeting in Beijing.

In a joint statement issued after the talks, the two leaders reaffirmed their call for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow as soon as possible.

The two countries also reaffirmed their opposition to the use of nuclear weapons in conflicts.

On the occasion of their meeting, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV published a report in which Xi hailed China’s “positive and stable” relations with France amid “profound historical changes” in the world.

“Important role”

During the visit, Macron said Beijing could play an “important role” in finding a path to peace in the war and praised China’s “willingness to engage in finding a solution”.

His visit to China, his first since 2019, comes amid growing Western pressure on Beijing to help push for peace in Ukraine.

Beijing is officially neutral, but Xi has never condemned the Russian invasion. Although he recently visited Moscow to reaffirm his alliance with Vladimir Putin – billed as an anti-Western front – Xi has not spoken on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Macron, who arrived in China with European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, said he wanted “to be the voice that unites Europe” on Ukraine and that their joint visit to China served to ” emphasize the coherence of this approach”.

After meeting Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People on Thursday morning, Macron stressed the importance of Sino-French dialogue “in these troubled times”.

“The ability to share a common analysis and create a common path is key,” he said.

In a separate meeting with Li, von der Leyen told the prime minister that EU-China relations had become “complicated” in recent years. “It is important to discuss all aspects of this relationship together today,” she said, especially in the current “unstable geopolitical environment”.

After Macron’s meeting with Xi, the two will make statements to the press, followed by a meeting with U. von der Leyen, followed by a state dinner.

On Friday, Macron will travel to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou to meet students, accompanied by a large delegation of high-level politicians, business leaders and even celebrities, including composer Jean- Michael Jarre.

“Strongly linked”

Apart from the Ukraine talks, Macron’s trip also has an important economic dimension, as the French leader wants to strengthen a crucial business partnership.

During the visit, E. Macron is accompanied by more than 50 French business leaders, including the bosses of Airbus, EDF and Veolia.

Airbus announced on Thursday that it will open a second final assembly line in China, doubling its production capacity in the country; a preliminary agreement to this effect was signed in Beijing by CEO Guillaume Faury.

U. von der Leyen also promised to tackle the EU’s growing trade deficit with China during meetings this week.

“Our economies are closely interconnected, but the EU trade deficit is widening due to discriminatory practices,” she tweeted.

Source: The Delfi





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