On Friday, the European Union leaders requested China to help end the Russian war in Ukraine, urging it to halt its implicit support for the attack and make peace efforts. Moreover, the comment came after a virtual meeting between the top European Union and Chinese leaders where Belgium wanted to discuss the outcome of more than one month of the brutal war. But, unfortunately, China emerged less interested in doing so.
On Friday, the EU asked China to help end the Russian aggression on Ukraine, urging it to stop its implicit support for the attack and make its efforts for peace in the region. AS, European Council President Charles told reporters that they stressed China to end war in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/9bVEU4bpOK
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After the meeting, Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, told reporters in Brussels that they called on Beijing to end fighting in Ukraine. According to the report from a Communist Party-controlled news agency, Xinhua, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing and Europe should work together to stabilize the world. However, the meeting comes at an exceptional moment in international affairs.
Russian aggression in Ukraine overturned the security architecture of European post-Cold War and forced the E.U. to reconsider its relationship with authoritarian governments. For some years, the European Union gradually moved toward a stricter stance on China. Now the Chinese rhetorical support for Moscow as it invades Ukraine appears to be boosting that shift, pushing the E.U. closer to the United States’ position on China.
China Refused to Condemn Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Premier Li Keqiang told European Union leaders that China would support peace in its own way. Beijing is shaping closer trade, security, and energy ties with Russia, positioning itself as a world force that can stand up to the U.S. Many weeks before the 24th February attack, Russia and China announced a no-limits strategic partnership.
CCTV News reported that Li told the European Union leaders that Beijing always sought peace and encouraged talks and is willing to continue to play a productive role with the global community. Michel said both sides agree that the aggression, which Moscow calls a special military operation, threatened international security and the economy.
China refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine or call it and repeatedly slammed what it calls one-sided and illegal Western sanctions. However, von der Leyen and Michel describe the summit tone as frank and open. Leyen also said that trade relations between two of the biggest economies of the world were far larger than Chinese economic ties with Russia.
China raised concerns that European nations are taking stricter line foreign policy cues from the U.S. and called for the European Union to exclude external interference from its relations with Beijing. In 2019, the European Union suddenly switched from soft diplomatic language to marking China as a systemic rival. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union sanctioned Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses in the Xinjian territory, which triggered China to retaliate, freezing a previously talked China-European Union investment deal.
Von der Leyen said China has to defend the global order that made China the second-largest economy globally. According to Western countries, Russian aggression on Ukraine is a violation of the charter of the U.N. She said that it is a defining moment for the world because nothing will be like it was before the invasion. It is now a question to take a clear stance to defend and support the rules-based order.