Der Spiegel – The Chinese head of state Xi Jinping has called for a “political” solution to the war in Ukraine, following a visit by the EU Council President Charles Michel to Beijing.
Xi told Chinese state television CCTV that the “crisis” in Ukraine must be resolved in the “best interests of Europe and all Eurasia countries”. The leader also called for nations to avoid “all forms of a new Cold War”.
China’s position on the Ukraine war has been an important feature in determining the international political reaction to Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Whilst on the one hand they have called for peace, they have tended to refrain from direct criticism of the Kremlin and have maintained economic relations with Russia.
In line with this policy, Xi said that it was imperative to “avoid escalation and widening of the crisis and work towards peace”, but did not criticise Russia’s role in both creating and maintaining the conflict.
Meanwhile, European sources have said that during the meeting the two leaders reiterated the shared belief that “nuclear threats are irresponsible and highly dangerous”. EU Council President Charles Michel also stressed that the EU is depending on China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to put pressure on Russia to respect the UN Charter, and to help, in the words of an EU spokesman, “end Russia’s brutal destruction and occupation”.
Charles Michel is the first EU leader to visit Beijing since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. He also became the first leader to visit since recent protests against the zero-Covid policy, however it is not known if the two leaders discussed the subject during their meeting. Xi did indeed tell media after the event that both sides “must not interfere in the internal affairs of the other”.
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