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EU urges China to help end the war in Ukraine

The first EU-China summit since 2020 took place on Friday via video link. Both sides agreed that the Russia-Ukraine war was threatening global security and the world’s economy. The President of the European Council warned China against helping Russia. China’s Prime Minister said the country would seek peace in Ukraine “on its own terms,” while the President called on the EU to adopt a policy on working with China that is independent of the US.

The EU and China, we agreed that this war is threatening global security and the world’s economy,” President of the European Council Charles Michel told a news briefing with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen after the summit. “We called on China to help end the war in Ukraine. China cannot turn a blind eye to Russia’s violation of international law,” he added. Von der Leyen said Beijing needed to defend the international order that has made China the world’s second-largest economy.

As China is forging closer energy, trade and security ties with Moscow to be a global force that can stand up to the United States, the EU urged Beijing not to allow Moscow to circumvent Western sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stressing that this would prolong the war.

The EU and #China agreed the war in #Ukraine is threatening global security & the world's economy.

We share a responsibility, as global actors, to work for peace and stability.

We call on China to help end this war.#EUChinaSummit #EUChina

— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) April 1, 2022

Deflecting pressure for a tougher stance towards Russia, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said that China would seek peace in Ukraine – but would do so on its own terms. President Xi Jinping said he hoped that the EU would treat China “independently” and “exclude external interference” from their relations, referring to Europe’s close ties with the United States.

“China has maintained the consistency and continuity of its EU policy, and we hope that the EU can form its own perception of China, adopt an independent China policy, and work with China for the steady and sustained development of China-EU relations,” said Xi, adding that “it has been proven that China and the EU share extensive common interests and a solid foundation for cooperation.” Von der Leyen pointed out that trade between two of the world’s biggest economies was far greater than China’s economic ties with Russia. More than a quarter of China’s global trade was with the EU and the United States last year, against just 2.4 percent with Russia, she said.

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