Sat. May 25th, 2024

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday at Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, appealed for China to use its influence with ally Russia to halt the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Scholz emphasized the weight of China’s diplomatic sway with Russia, urging President Xi to advocate for an end to what he termed President Putin’s “senseless campaign.” The German leader’s plea, conveyed via social media platform X, underscored the urgency of halting the devastating war.

Scholz disclosed that President Xi had agreed to support a peace conference scheduled for Switzerland in June, one that notably excludes Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed China’s endorsement, urging the nation to play an active role in facilitating a just resolution to the conflict during the upcoming international conference. Despite China’s self-proclaimed neutrality in the Ukraine crisis, its silence on Russia’s offensive has drawn criticism from global observers.

The deepening economic and diplomatic ties between China and Russia have raised concerns globally, particularly in light of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Scholz highlighted the detrimental impact of Russia’s actions on European security and emphasized the need for sustained diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis. Germany, as Ukraine’s second-largest military supporter after the United States, reiterated the importance of dialogue alongside military support.

During the talks, Chinese state media reported President Xi outlining four principles aimed at preventing further escalation of the Ukraine crisis and restoring peace. These principles emphasized the importance of upholding peace, avoiding actions that exacerbate tensions, and mitigating the crisis’s adverse effects on the global economy. Xi’s statements mirrored Beijing’s previous calls for a political settlement to the conflict, a stance at odds with Western countries’ positions.

The visit by Chancellor Scholz to China, accompanied by a sizable delegation, reflects the significance of the economic relationship between the two nations. Despite mounting pressure to reassess economic ties in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Scholz emphasized Germany’s commitment to maintaining economic engagement with China. The discussions also addressed concerns over alleged state aid for Chinese industries, with both sides emphasizing the importance of fair competition and economic diversification.

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