Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on the EU not to “tie the whole world” to the crisis in Ukraine and warned that it could take decades to repair the economic damage.
At a virtual summit with EU leaders on Friday, Xi European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel said the crisis must be handled “correctly”.
“Many people are very concerned that the current situation could ruin the results of decades of international economic cooperation. If the situation continues to deteriorate, it is estimated that it may take years, or even decades, to recover afterwards,” Xi said. to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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The EU later said it had urged Beijing not to “interfere” in sanctions against Russia, and while the two sides agreed to work to end the conflict, they had expressed “opposing views” on the situation.
Xi warned of a chaotic reaction that would “bind the whole world to the crisis.” [and means] people in all countries will pay a high price “.
“The more critical the situation, the more sobriety and calm needed,” the Chinese leader said.
“The current world economic structure is a framework formed by the long-term efforts of all countries in the world. All parties should safeguard this achievement and not easily affect the existing world economic system.
“The world economy, which causes serious crises in the world’s finances, trade, energy, science and technology, food, industrial chains and supply chains, should not be politicized, instrumentalised and armed.”
Xi held talks with the leaders of the European Commission and the Council. Photo: Xinhua alt = Xi held talks with the leaders of the European Commission and the Council. Photo: Xinhua>
Von der Leyen said after the talks: “We exchanged very clearly opposing views. This is not a conflict. This is a war. This is not a European affair. This is a global affair.”
She added: “We made it very clear that China should, if not support, at least not interfere in our sanctions. [on Russia] and that equal distance is not enough; that active commitment to peace is important and that each player should play his role. “
Xi said that China supports the EU’s efforts to resolve the crisis politically and that Beijing will work with Europe to prevent a major humanitarian crisis. Xi also supported a leading role for the EU in negotiations with other parties, including the United States and NATO.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put further pressure on China’s relationship with the EU, which has already been damaged by sanctions for beatings due to alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang, which led to the suspension of a major investment agreement.
China has not condemned Russia’s actions, and there have also been reports that Moscow has asked China for military and economic assistance and for help circumventing sanctions.
China has criticized the sanctions and warned that the crisis is already having a contagious effect on other countries.
A comment posted by the social media account of Folkets Dagblad, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece, warned of the impact on the natural gas supply. It said that half of the EU’s gas imports come from Russia and that switching to US supplies will increase costs and increase delivery time.
The EU-China summit was divided into two parts, the first of which was a two-hour discussion between Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, von der Leyen, Michel and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Li said China and Europe should jointly ensure energy and food supplies and the stability of industrial and supply chains.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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