Beijing: French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday China could play a major role in finding a “path to peace” in Ukraine, in his first speech since arriving for a three-day state visit.
Speaking to French citizens in the Chinese capital about a range of issues including Russia’s war in Ukraine, Macron said: “China, with its close relationship with Russia, which has been reaffirmed in recent days, can play a major role.”
He said France would engage “in this shared responsibility for peace and stability”.
Macron is in China for a visit in which he hopes to dissuade Beijing from supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while also forging closer ties with a crucial trade partner.
Also visiting Beijing this week is European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, who met Macron in Paris on Monday to coordinate preparations.
Macron said in his speech at the French embassy in Beijing that Europe must not “separate” from China economically.
“We must not disassociate ourselves, separate ourselves from China,” Macron told a gathering of Beijing’s French community, saying France would “commit proactively to continue to have a commercial relationship with China”.
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