Macron to visit China in early April to discuss Ukraine war
After China's proposal regarding peace in Ukraine, France's Emmanuel Macron announces that he was visiting China in early April.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Saturday that he was visiting China in early April with the aim of discussing the Ukraine war and urging Beijing to pressure Moscow in light of a recently-released Chinese peace plan for the war.
"I think the fact that China is engaging in peace efforts is good. I myself will go to China in early April," Macron said at an agricultural fair in Paris, as quoted by the TF1 broadcaster.
Furthermore, Macron voiced hope that China would "help us put pressure on Russia so that it never uses chemical or nuclear weapons."
China released on Friday a 12-point document titled "China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis," promoting, among other things, 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.
According to Macron, he was planning on visiting China in early April to call on Beijing to "help us pressure Russia" to end the war in Ukraine.
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The French head of state said that peace was only possible if "the Russian aggression was halted, troops withdrawn and territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people was respected".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."
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 sovereignty at Russia's expense. 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.
The position paper is mostly a reiteration of China's previous position, which includes an appeal to both parties to resume peace talks. “Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” it said, adding that China will play a “constructive role,” without offering details.
The document also read that "the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld."
The paper stated that the "Cold War mentality" should be abandoned, indirectly addressing the United States.
It added, echoing Moscow's view against the West's provocative NATO expansionism, that "the security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly.”
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Furthermore, the paper emphasized China's opposition to the use of nuclear weapons, which Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed to Western leaders last year.
"Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought. The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed. Nuclear proliferation must be prevented and nuclear crisis avoided," it said. Additionally, it forbade armed assaults on nuclear power plants or other non-combative facilities.
Coinciding with the war's one-year anniversary, Beijing had vowed to submit a plan aimed at finding a "political solution" to end the war before the war's anniversary on February 24.