China resists tougher Russia response at ‘frank’ summit with EU | Russia-Ukraine war News

Chinese leaders told their EU counterparts they would push for peace in Ukraine “in their own way”, pushing back against calls for a tougher approach.

China has offered the European Union assurances that it will seek peace in Ukraine when it resists pressure from grouping to adopting a tougher stance towards Russia.

During the first China-EU summit in two years, Premier Li Keqiang told EU leaders that Beijing would promote peace “in its own way”, while President Xi Jinping , who developed close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he hoped the EU would take an “independent” approach in response to Europe’s close relationship with the United States.

The EU told Beijing during a virtual summit not to allow Moscow to circumvent Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the leaders of the two sides “exchanged very clear opposing views” on many topics, but expressed hope that China would use its influence as a major power and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to persuade Russia to stop the battle.

“We call on China to help end the war in Ukraine. China cannot turn a blind eye to Russia’s violation of international law,” European Council President Charles Michel said at a press conference with von der Leyen after their first summit since December 30, 2020. .

“Any attempt to circumvent sanctions or aid Russia will prolong the war,” he said.

China has been forging closer economic and security ties with Russia, while refusing to condemn what Russia has called a “special military operation” in Ukraine or calling it an invasion. comb. Beijing has repeatedly criticized what it calls illegal and unilateral sanctions by the West. A few weeks before the 24 February invasion, China and Russia declared ‘‘unlimited’ strategic partnership relations.

Mr. Xi told EU leaders that the root cause of the Ukraine crisis “is the regional security tension in Europe” and that the “fundamental solution is to address the legitimate security concerns of all”. stakeholders”, according to Global Times. Li said China always seeks peace and promotes negotiations, and is willing to continue to play a constructive role with the international community, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Ahead of the meeting, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned that China “does not approve of solving problems through sanctions, and we even oppose unilateral sanctions and long-term jurisdiction has no basis in international law”.

When it comes to Ukraine, Zhao said, Beijing will not be forced to “pick a side or adopt a simple friend-foe approach. In particular, we should resist Cold War thinking and bloc confrontation.”

I also describe America as an aggressor.

“As the prime culprit and instigator of the Ukraine crisis, the United States led NATO to engage in five rounds of eastward expansion in the last two decades after 1999,” he said, adding. that the number of NATO members almost doubled from 16 to 30, and pushed “Russia into a corner step by step.”

Michel and von der Leyen described the tone of the summit as “open and forthright”.

China is concerned that the EU is listening to US hints and adopting a tougher line in foreign policy. In 2019, the EU abruptly switched from its usual soft diplomatic language to viewing China as a systemic adversary.

The EU has also joined the US and UK in sanctioning Chinese officials for accused of human rights violations in Xinjiang and the persecution in Hong Kong.

Beijing retaliated by freezing accession to a Investment agreement between EU and China. It also suspended imports from Lithuania after Taiwan opens de facto embassy in Vilniusangered Beijing, which claims the democratically ruled island as its own.

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