Macron Asks Xi for Help with Russia
French President Emmanuel Macron met with China's top leader, Xi Jinping, to discuss the war in Ukraine. Macron asked Xi to use his close relationship with Moscow to help bring Russia to the negotiating table.
China and France Seek Restraint and Peace
In response, Xi Jinping expressed China's commitment to working with France in appealing for restraint in the conflict. He emphasized the need for a swift return to peace negotiations and the development of a balanced European architecture.
Xi Jinping on Nuclear War and Civilians
The Chinese leader called for the protection of civilians and the avoidance of nuclear war, distancing himself from Russia's President Putin. However, it remains to be seen whether Xi will pressure Putin to negotiate or speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Absence of Peace Talks and Negotiating Positions
There have been no known peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv since April last year. Both sides have expressed opposing positions, with Putin demanding recognition of annexed territories and Zelensky insisting on reparations and the return of captured land.
Zelensky's Adviser Suggests Openness to Talks
Andriy Sybiha, an adviser to Zelensky, suggested Ukraine's willingness to discuss Crimea's status if Ukrainian forces regain control of occupied land in the south. This marks a potential opening for negotiations between the two countries.
Macron's Appeal to China's Influence
Macron's meeting with Xi highlighted his hopes that China would use its influence with Moscow to facilitate a peace that respects international borders and avoids escalation.
China's Charm Offensive Towards Europe
China is trying to build relationships with France and the European Union, potentially driving a wedge between the United States and its allies. Xi Jinping plans to spend significant time with Macron during his visit.
Economic Opportunities Between China and Europe
Europe and China could benefit economically from their relationship, as Europe needs access to the Chinese market, and China seeks opportunities in Europe not available in Russia.
China's View on Europe's Independence
Xi Jinping's comments suggest that China sees Europe as an independent player in a multipolar world, downplaying the significance of the US-European alliance and NATO in the 21st century.