French President Emmanuel Macron concluded his three-day visit to China with a call for diplomacy and restraint in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. This crisis, which began in February 2022 with a Russian “special military operation,” has resulted in thousands of lives lost and millions of people displaced. Macron and Xi emphasised the importance of diplomacy and restraint in resolving this deadly conflict. The leaders explored various avenues for addressing the situation in Ukraine, highlighting the need for strengthening political dialogue and promoting mutual trust, as well as responding to global challenges together. Macron’s visit to China underscored the significance of international cooperation in resolving conflicts and preserving global peace and stability.
Strengthening political dialogue and promoting mutual trust
In an official communique issued after the meeting, both sides agreed to strengthen political dialogue, promote mutual political trust, jointly promote world security and stability, and respond to global challenges together. The statement also expressed support for all efforts to restore peace in Ukraine on the basis of international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.
China’s call for a cease-fire
During the meeting, Xi Jinping reiterated China’s call for a cease-fire in Ukraine, and he welcomed France presenting concrete proposals on a political resolution to the crisis. Xi emphasised that the continuation of the war would benefit no party and that dialogue and negotiation were the only viable solutions to the Ukraine crisis.
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Macron’s address to students
While visiting China, Macron addressed students at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou. He condemned the war in Ukraine as a clear violation of international law and called for joint efforts to preserve and reconstruct the international order focused on peace and stability. Macron stressed the significance of embracing new technologies to serve humanity and to not resist new opportunities. He urged for open and transparent discussions based on moral principles to ensure that technology is used in a way that benefits society and addresses ethical concerns, leading to a better future.
China’s position on a political settlement
On the anniversary of the Ukrainian crisis, China released a statement highlighting its position on a political settlement to the conflict. The statement emphasised respecting each other’s territories, ending the conflict, resuscitating diplomatic engagements, and putting an end to the humanitarian crisis. The statement also highlighted ensuring the safety and security of nuclear power plants, encouraging unhindered grain supply, and ending unilateral sanctions.
China’s stance on the Ukrainian crisis
China has refrained from using the words “war” and “occupation” to describe the conflict in Ukraine, and it abstained from a UN Security Council vote on Russia’s annexation of parts of Ukraine. China is among the countries that have not yet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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The joint statement by France and China calling for restraint and diplomacy to resolve the Ukrainian crisis highlights the importance of dialogue and negotiation in resolving conflicts. Macron’s visit to China and his call for joint efforts to preserve and reconstruct the international order focused on peace and stability is a positive step towards resolving the Ukrainian crisis. The Chinese statement on a political settlement to the conflict underscores the need for respecting each other’s territories, ending the conflict, and putting an end to the humanitarian crisis. It remains to be seen whether these efforts will result in a lasting peace in Ukraine.