Macron says will visit China in April to push for peace in Ukraine
The French head of state said he will seek Beijing's assistance to "exert pressure on Russia to ensure it never uses chemical or nuclear weapons and it stops this aggression prior to negotiations".
French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday said he is planning to visit China in early April to call on Beijing to "help us pressure Russia" to end the war in Ukraine.
This comes a day after China issued a call to end hostilities with the release of a 12-point peace plan to end the conflict.
The French head of state said that peace was only possible if "the Russian aggression was halted, troops withdrawn and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people was respected".
"The fact that China is engaging in peace efforts is a good thing," Macron said, noting he would ask Beijing "not to supply any arms to Russia."
He added that he will seek Beijing's assistance to "exert pressure on Russia to ensure it never uses chemical or nuclear weapons and it stops this aggression prior to negotiations".
Read more: No evidence yet of China sending Russia lethal arms: EU Commission
On February 24, China issued a 12-point position paper on Ukraine that highlighted all the steps required to reach a "political settlement".
These include respecting the sovereignty of all countries, abandoning the Cold War mentality, ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, resolving the humanitarian crisis, protecting civilians and POWs, keeping nuclear power plants safe, reducing strategic risks, facilitating grain exports, stopping unilateral sanctions, keeping industrial and supply chains stable, and promoting post-conflict reconstruction.
Because the plan did not specify that Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine, the West said the 12-point document was an attempt to undermine Ukraine's sovereignity at the expense of Russia's. Beijing has already dismissed these claims as false.
"The US is not used to hearing the truth, it’s reluctant to face its own problems and merely dismisses all criticism as propaganda," said Chinese FM spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Thursday.
"What the US should do is relinquish its hold on hegemony and seek peaceful coexistence with other countries on the basis of respect."
The document calls on all parties to "support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible," as well as to refrain from using nuclear weapons.
Read more: Belarusian President Lukashenko to visit China in coming days