Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

In recent diplomatic exchanges between France and China, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne has emphasized the importance of China sending unequivocal messages to its ally Russia regarding the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This call for action comes amid growing concerns over Moscow’s military aggression in the region, with Paris expressing firm support for Ukraine’s sovereignty.

While acknowledging the efforts to strengthen Franco-Chinese relations, especially highlighted during meetings in February where China praised France’s independent stance, Paris remains steadfast in urging Beijing to address its ties with Moscow. Despite China’s claim of neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, criticism has been directed at its reluctance to condemn Russia’s actions.

France’s alignment with Kyiv has been notably robust, with President Emmanuel Macron refusing to rule out the deployment of troops to Ukraine. Foreign Minister Sejourne underscored the significance of China’s role in upholding international law and ensuring respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, emphasizing the necessity of clear communication with Russia.

During a press conference in Beijing, Sejourne reiterated France’s commitment to dialogue with China, stressing the vital link between peace in Ukraine and European security. He emphasized the imperative of negotiating peace directly with Ukrainians to achieve lasting stability, highlighting France’s determination to maintain close diplomatic ties with China.

Sejourne’s visit to China marks the continuation of high-level exchanges between the two nations, with discussions encompassing global geopolitical challenges. Meeting with Premier Li Qiang, Sejourne emphasized the need to address divisive global situations, including the crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, fostering mutual understanding and cooperation.

As France commemorates the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China, Sejourne’s visit underscores efforts to enhance ties while navigating complex geopolitical dynamics. Amid the European Union’s efforts to mitigate reliance on China, France emphasizes the importance of ‘derisking’ economic relations, pursuing a balanced approach that prioritizes sustainable trade.

In response to concerns over economic decoupling, both Sejourne and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi underscored the significance of maintaining partnership and cooperation. Rejecting the notion of decoupling, they emphasized the mutual benefits of collaboration and reaffirmed the importance of a stable and healthy economic relationship between Europe and China.

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