France expects 'clear messages' from China to Russia over Ukraine war

France's top diplomat said on Monday that Paris wants China to send "clear messages" to its strategic ally Russia over its war in Ukraine, after meetings with his counterpart in Beijing.

France and China have sought to strengthen ties in recent years and, during meetings in Paris in February, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told President Emmanuel Macron that Beijing appreciated his country's "independent" stance.

But Paris has also sought to press Beijing on its ties with Moscow, which have only grown closer since the invasion of Ukraine.

While China says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict, it has been criticised for refusing to condemn Moscow for its offensive.

Paris has, in contrast, become one of Kyiv's firmest backers, with Macron in February even refusing to rule out putting troops on the ground in Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said Monday that Beijing "plays a key role in... the respect of international law, including on Ukraine's sovereignty, and therefore we are clearly expecting that China will send very clear messages to Russia".

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

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