French Foreign Minister expects ‘clear messages’ from China to Russia on Ukraine

After meeting his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing Monday, French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said China could play a "key role" in negotiating peace in Ukraine.

"We are convinced that there will be no lasting peace if it is not negotiated with the Ukrainians," Séjourné told reporters at a press conference, alongside Wang.

"There will be no security for Europeans if there is no peace in accordance with international law," he continued. And China, he said, could play a "key role" in ensuring respect for international law is maintained.

Improving relations

While trying to improve ties with China, France has also been pushing Beijing over its relationship with Moscow, which has deepened since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Many western countries have asked China to play a more active role in resolving the conflict.

Séjourné said Monday that France wants China "to send very clear messages to Russia" over the war in Ukraine.

Séjourné’s is the second visit by a French foreign minister to China in less than six months, after his predecessor, Catherine Colonna, travelled there in November.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit France and Italy in May.

(with AFP)

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