China backs Macron’s Ukraine peace efforts
Beijing supports European efforts to kickstart peace talks on Ukraine and eventually create a balanced and sustainable security framework for the continent, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin has said.
Negotiations should be based on Europe’s “fundamental long-term interests” and should take into account the “legitimate concerns of all parties,” the Chinese official said during a daily media briefing on Wednesday.
Wang was commenting on a reported attempt by French President Emmanuel Macron to enlist Chinese assistance to de-escalate the conflict.
The spokesman noted the comments made by President Xi Jinping during Macron’s visit to Beijing earlier this month, when the Chinese leader stated there can be no panacea to the crisis. All parties must work to build mutual trust before progress can be made, Wang argued.
The French effort to revive peace talks by this summer with Chinese help was reported by Bloomberg. Macron is said to have asked his foreign policy adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, to work directly with Wang Yi, the Chinese official in charge of foreign relations in the Communist Party, on formulating the plan.
During his trip to Beijing, Macron urged Xi to use Chinese influence to make Russia “come to its senses” regarding Ukraine. According to reports, the French president failed to sway his Chinese counterpart or align Beijing more closely with Paris’ position on the conflict.
France is among the nations to have supplied Ukraine with weapons, and has supported Washington’s claim that Moscow’s military operation against its neighbor was “unprovoked.”
China has criticized the Russian decision to use force, but agreed with its assessment that NATO’s expansion in Europe and the West’s refusal to acknowledge Russian security concerns were at the core of the conflict. Moscow perceives the hostilities as part of a wider proxy war against Russia waged by the US and its allies.