Wednesday, February 8, 2023

China calls for talks in Ukraine at meeting with EU

BEIJING ( Associated Press) – Chinese President Xi Jinping called for talks to seek a political solution to the conflict in Ukraine during a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel in Beijing on Thursday, according to state television CCTV.

“Resolving the Ukrainian crisis through political means is in the interests of all countries in Europe and Eurasia,” Xi was quoted as saying by TV.

“Under the current circumstances, we must avoid aggravation and expansion of the crisis and work for peace,” the president said.

China has made such statements in the past as well. The country has refused to condemn the Russian invasion and has criticized sanctions against Beijing.

A few weeks before the invasion, Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed their “no borders” relationship, and Beijing has increased purchases of Russian crude. The air forces of both the countries conducted a joint exercise this week.

European officials said Michel’s one-day visit was focused on finding a balance between the EU’s interest in increasing its exports to China and the need to stand firm with Beijing in defense of democracy and fundamental freedoms.

China has gained global influence in recent years and the European Union increasingly views the country as a strategic rival.

Michel’s visit was also a chance to show a united front for the 27-member bloc, following a solo visit by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in early November.

During that visit, Scholz urged China to shed its influence on Russia and raised human rights concerns. Michel will seek to delve into these issues, as part of the EU’s efforts not to give ground to an increasingly assertive and authoritarian China. Beijing has tacitly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, criticized sanctions on Moscow and expanded its presence in the western Pacific.

The visit coincides with heightened tensions around the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China has threatened to invade, and follows a UN report that Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in the region of Xinjiang crimes against China’s human rights violations against Humanity.

Visits to Taiwan by the European Parliament and politicians from EU member states have angered Beijing in recent months. Beijing has imposed trade embargoes with Lithuania and downgraded bilateral ties after the Baltic country decided to upgrade its official ties with Taipei.

At the same time, Michel was trying to improve the EU’s economic situation in the world’s second-largest economy, which has suffered a significant slowdown in growth due to tougher COVID-19 regulations, which also delayed Michel’s visit by a day. limited to

The EU trade deficit with China in goods and services is around 230,000 million euros per year. The group seeks to reduce its dependence on China for technical equipment and rare minerals, especially those used in the manufacturing of microprocessors, batteries and solar panels.

Nation World News Desk
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