In a virtual meeting on Friday, European Union leaders reminded China that they want Beijing to help end the Russia-Ukraine war, or at the very least not interfere with international sanctions imposed on Moscow.
After the meeting, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters, “We expect China, if not supporting the sanctions, to do everything not to interfere in any kind. On that point, we were very clear.”
She added that the union expected Beijing to use its influence on Moscow to help end the war.
According to Washington Post, after the meeting, European Council President Charles Michel told reporters in Brussels, “We called on China to end the war in Ukraine … China cannot turn a blind eye to Russia’s violation of international law.”
He added, “Any attempts to circumvent sanctions or provide aid to Russia would prolong the war.”
China’s foreign ministry said that, during the meeting on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that the current situation risks erasing the benefits of global economic cooperation and that Beijing and Brussels should commit to preventing crisis spillover.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson tweeted that Xi told EU leaders that the current situation in Ukraine is “deeply regrettable” and that Beijing “stands on the side of peace.”
According to Reuters, Premier Li Keqiang also told EU leaders that Beijing would push for peace in “its own way.”
Reuters also reported that European Council President Charles Michel said both sides agreed that the war, which Russia refers to as a “special military operation,” was endangering global security and the economy.