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France asks China to convey ‘clear message’ to ally Russia over Ukraine war

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NEW DELHI: France’s top diplomat said Monday that Paris expects China to send “clear messages” to its close partner Russia over its war in Ukraine, after meetings with his counterpart in Beijing.
A top French diplomat on Monday said that Paris has been expecting China to convey a “clear message” to its close ally Russia, which has been at war with Ukraine since 2022.
The statement came after meetings with his Beijing counterpart.
France and China have been working to strengthen their ties, with Foreign Minister Wang Yi commending President Macron for France’s “independent” stance during their recent meetings in Paris.
However, concerns have arisen over China’s close relationship with Moscow, particularly after the Ukraine invasion. While China claims neutrality in the conflict, criticism has emerged for its failure to denounce Moscow’s actions.
In contrast, Paris has firmly supported Kyiv, with Macron even considering the deployment of troops. Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne emphasized the need for China to clearly address Russia’s actions in Ukraine. These developments highlight the complex diplomatic dynamics at play between these major global powers.
“We are convinced that there will be no lasting peace if it is not negotiated with the Ukrainians,” he told a press conference in Beijing, speaking alongside his Chinese counterpart Wang.
“There will be no security for Europeans if there is no peace in accordance with international law,” he continued.
“It is an essential issue for us, which is why France is determined to maintain a close dialogue with China,” he said.
And Beijing, he said, could play a “key role” in ensuring respect for international law is maintained.
French Foreign Minister Sejourne’s visit to China marks the second visit by a French foreign minister in under six months, following Catherine Colonna’s trip in November.
French President Macron’s visit in April garnered a warm reception from Chinese students and fans, though he faced criticism for his stance on Europe’s relationship with China vis-a-vis the United States.
Sejourne’s visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of France-China diplomatic ties. As part of the commemorative events, he will attend the opening of the “Versailles and the Forbidden City” exhibition, showcasing sixty artworks and valuables from the palace to the public until June’s end.

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