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Macron plans to visit China in early April

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Saturday he would visit China in early April, urging Beijing to help put “pressure” on Russia to end the war in Ukraine.

A day after Beijing called for urgent peace talks and released a plan to end years of conflict, Macron said: “The fact that China is engaging in peace efforts is a good thing.”

On Friday, China released a 12-point position paper on the conflict, calling for urgent peace talks and a “political solution” to the Ukraine crisis.

Several Western powers rejected the proposals and also warned against close ties between Beijing and Moscow.

Speaking on the sidelines of an agricultural exhibition in Paris, the French leader said peace would only be possible if “Russian aggression were stopped, the troops were withdrawn and the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people were respected”.

Coinciding with the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese newspaper calls on all parties to “support Russia and Ukraine to work in the same direction and resume direct dialogue as soon as possible.”

It also makes clear that it opposes not only the use of nuclear weapons, but also the threat to use them, after Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use Moscow’s nuclear arsenal in the conflict.

Macron urged Beijing “not to supply arms to Russia” and asked for Beijing’s help to “put pressure on Russia to ensure it never uses chemical or nuclear weapons and stops this aggression before negotiations”.

Lukashenko visit

China has attempted to play a role as mediator in the Russo-Ukrainian war.

Beijing earlier on Saturday announced that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko would visit China from February 28 to March 2.

Lukashenko is a close ally of Putin and Belarus, which borders Ukraine and Russia, allowed Moscow to use its territory to launch its invasion of Ukraine.

On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he plans to meet China’s Xi Jinping and expressed hope that China will support a “just peace”.

Beijing has sought to position itself as a neutral party in the conflict while maintaining close ties with strategic ally Russia.

On Thursday, China abstained in a vote at the UN General Assembly demanding Russia immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

Russia has said it appreciates Beijing’s efforts to resolve the conflict but any solution should recognize the Kremlin’s control of four Ukrainian regions.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden said there was no evidence China had supplied weapons to Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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