France urges coordination with China on Ukraine, trade at Paris summit

French President Emmanuel Macron and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen pressed Xi Jinping at a summit in Paris on Monday to use Beijing's influence to halt the Russian war against Ukraine, also telling the Chinese leader to accept fair global trade rules.

Opening an initial trilateral meeting attended by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Macron said coordination with Beijing on "major crises" including Ukraine was "absolutely decisive" and urged "fair rules for all" in Europe-China trade.

"The future of our continent will very clearly depend on our ability to continue to develop relations with China in a balanced manner," Macron said.

In an op-ed for Le Figaro daily, Xi said he wanted to work with the international community to find ways to resolve the conflict sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, while emphasising that China was "neither a party nor a participant".

"We hope that peace and stability will return quickly to Europe, and intend to work with France and the entire international community to find good paths to resolve the crisis," he wrote.

Xi's choice of France as the sole major European power on his itinerary indicates the importance he now accords to Macron as an EU powerbroker.

Peaceful overtures

"And here we've got Xi Jinping making really strongly peaceful overtures towards Europe."


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