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Macron calls on China to consider working with Russia to achieve peace in Ukraine.

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French President Emmanuel Macron has appealed to Chinese President Xi Jinping to “bring Russia to its senses” and help bring about “lasting peace” in Ukraine.

On Thursday, Macron indicated China’s support for the United Nations Charter, which calls for respect for the country’s territorial integrity, and for nuclear agreements. He said that the Russian President’s invasion of Ukraine threatens peace and stability based on these two issues.

Xi’s government declared it had “friendship without borders” with Russia before the February 2022 attack, but has tried to appear neutral. Beijing has called for peace talks.

“I know I can count on you, under the two principles I just mentioned, to bring Russia to its senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table,” Macron told Xi.

“We need to find a lasting peace,” Macron said. “I think this is also an important issue for China as much as it is for France and Europe,” he added.

Xi did not mention Ukraine or Russia but said he welcomed relations with France. He said that Beijing and Paris are “strong supporters of multipolarity in the world,” referring to the reduction of US hegemony in economic and political affairs.

Xi’s government regards Russia as an energy source and partner in opposition to what they say is US aggression and unfair criticism of their human rights records.

China is the largest buyer of Russian oil and gas, which helps shore up the Kremlin’s revenue in the face of Western sanctions. This increases Chinese influence, but Xi appears reluctant to jeopardize that partnership by putting pressure on Putin.

“China has always adhered to an objective and fair stance on the issue of the Ukrainian crisis,” said Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry. We have been advocates of a political solution to the crisis and supportive of peace talks.”

Earlier, Macron said during a meeting with the leader of the ruling Communist Party, Prime Minister Li Qiang, that France wants to “build a common path” in dealing with “all major conflicts” in addition to Ukraine.

Li said there was likely to be a “broad consensus” between Macron and Xi, but did not indicate whether Beijing was willing to pressure Moscow to make peace.

Li said the meeting “will send positive signals to the concerted efforts of China, France and Europe to maintain world peace and stability.”

Macron was accompanied to Beijing by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a show of European unity.

Von der Leyen warned last week that the EU should be prepared to develop measures to protect trade and investment that China could exploit for security and military purposes.

On the other hand, the 31 NATO member states warned Wednesday of “serious consequences” if China begins to send weapons and ammunition to Russia.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that providing lethal aid would be a “historic mistake”. He warned that there would be “serious consequences” but declined to give details.

China’s spokesman Mao rejected NATO’s criticism.

“When it comes to responsibility in Ukraine, I think the United States and military blocs like NATO should take responsibility,” Mao said. “NATO is not in a position to accuse or pressure China.”

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