German President asks Xi to 'influence' Putin to end Ukraine war
During a phone call, the Chinese President called on Germany to help in the process of China-EU developing ties.
Chinese President Xi Jinping told Tuesday his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in a phone call that their countries should work together to further good relations between Beijing and the European Union without any third-party interference, Chinese state media reported.
State broadcaster CCTV cited Xi as telling Steinmeier that China hopes Germany can provide a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory operating environment for Chinese enterprises in Germany, the EU's largest market.
According to CCTV, Xi indicated that "leading the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations is a direction that China and Germany should work together for."
The Chinese leader underlined that "China supports the strategic autonomy of the EU and hopes that the European side will adhere to the basic positioning of China and Europe as strategic partners..., and to the principle that China-EU relations are not targeted, not dependent, and not subject to a third party."
On his part, the German President urged Xi to use his influence on Russia to stop the war in Ukraine, his office said.
"The president underlined the common interest of China and Europe in an end to the war (in Ukraine) as well as respect for Ukrainian sovereignty and the required withdrawal of Russian troops," Steinmeier's office indicated in a statement.
"He asked Xi to use his influence on Russia and (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to this end," the German President's office added.
In early December, China and Germany reached an agreement on providing German vaccines to German nationals in China, after Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine would be used by German expatriates there.
According to the agreement, BioNTech would be the first non-Chinese Covid-19 vaccine to be administered in China.
It is noteworthy that in late November, Scholz said that his country will not make the same mistake with China that it did with Russia, adding that Germany will diversify trade with other economies.
Sholz's statement came after representatives of German industry criticized a leaked document discussing the country's new China policy that states the need for increased political support for diversified trade with other countries. The document pushed in favor of creating stronger trade ties with other countries and increased control over trade with China.
China, the EU's most important trading partner, accounted for 16.2% of total EU trade in 2021, with Beijing corresponding for 22.3% of total European imports and 10.3% of exports.
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