France wants China to send ‘clear message’ to Russia over war in Ukraine


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.

“We expect China to send very clear messages to Russia,” Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne told a press conference in Beijing alongside his local counterpart Wang Yi.

“We are convinced that there will be no lasting peace if it is not negotiated with the Ukrainians,” he said.

“There will be no security for Europeans if there is no peace in accordance with international law,” he continued.

France and China have sought to strengthen ties in recent years and, during meetings in Paris in February, Wang told President Emmanuel Macron that Beijing appreciated his country’s “independent” stance.

And in Beijing on Monday, Sejourne reiterated it was not “desirable” to “decouple from China”.

But, he said, an “economic rebalancing” was needed to ensure trade is “healthy and sustainable”.

Sejourne’s visit is the second to China by a French foreign minister in less than six months, following a trip by his predecessor, Catherine Colonna, in November.

Macron also visited last April, receiving a rock star welcome at a university in southern China from hundreds of screaming students and fans.

But he faced accusations of cosying up to Beijing and sparked controversy by saying Europe shouldn’t be a “follower” of the United States in the event of conflict with China over Taiwan.__Daily Hurriyet