NYT: Xi bristles at criticism of China over the war in Ukraine

10:39 08.05.2024 •

Mr. Macron, second from right, and Mr. Xi Jinping, second from left, with delegates during a working session at Élysée Palace on Monday.
Photo: Associated Press

President Xi Jinping of China, on a two-day visit to France, spoke out firmly against criticism of his country for its close relationship with Russia during the war in Ukraine, saying that “we oppose the crisis being used to cast responsibility on a third country, sully its image and incite a new cold war,” notes The New York Times.

Flanked by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, with whom he held several rounds of talk on Monday, Mr. Xi stiffened as he defended China’s role, recalling it was “not at the origin of this crisis, nor a party to it, nor a participant.”

The bristling remark appeared aimed principally at the United States, which believes that China, aside from buying enormous amounts of Russia oil and gas, continues to aid Moscow’s war in Ukraine by providing satellite imagery to Russian forces along with jet fighter parts, microchips and other dual-use equipment.

Mr. Macron and Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president, who attended a morning session of talks, pressured Mr. Xi to use his influence on Moscow to bring the war to an end. Mr. Xi will host President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Beijing later this month, but there was no suggestion — other than a general wish for peace — that he would ask his “no limits” ally to stop the war.

Addressing Mr. Xi, the French president said, “Without security for Ukraine there can be no security for Europe.” But he emphasized that France was not at war with Russia or its people and did not seek to overturn Mr. Putin’s regime. Mr. Macron added, with respect to the war, that France and China “must maintain a close dialogue.”

The atmosphere between Mr. Xi and Mr. Macron was friendly and full of mutual congratulation at the fruits of the 60-year diplomatic relationship between the two countries and vows to build a better world together. At a separate French-Chinese business summit attended by top executives, Mr. Xi said, “Between our two countries there is no geopolitical tension nor any fundamental conflict.”


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