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Von der Leyen warns China against arms deliveries to Russia


“That would damage our relations considerably”: EU Commission President von der Leyen has warned China against supplying weapons to Russia. Together with French President Macron, she called on President Xi to use China’s influence on Russia.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned China against arms deliveries to Russia. After talks with head of state and party leader Xi Jinping together with French President Emmanuel Macron, von der Leyen told the press in Beijing that she was counting on China not providing Russia with any military equipment “directly or indirectly”. “Arming the aggressor would be against international law and it would severely damage our relations.”

Marie von Mallinckrodt, ARD Beijing, on the talks between Macron and von der Leyen with China’s head of state Xi

tagesschau24 5:00 p.m., April 6, 2023

“We are counting on China”

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has a great responsibility. “We expect China to play its part and support a just peace – one that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, one of the cornerstones of the UN Charter.”

In their talks, she emphasized that she firmly supports the peace plan of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. China has a great responsibility to use its influence on Russia: “We are counting on China.”

Attack on Taiwan would be ‘unacceptable’

In addition, von der Leyen warned China of an attack on Taiwan. “No one should unilaterally change the status quo in this region through violence,” she said. This would be “unacceptable”. With a view to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, von der Leyen called on Xi to seek direct talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Von der Leyen saw the Chinese head of state’s assurance that he would do this as soon as the time was right as a “positive sign”.

Von der Leyen traveled to Beijing with Macron. She first met Xi with Macron, followed by bilateral talks with the Chinese head of state. The head of the EU Commission criticized the “considerable disadvantage” of many European companies in China. For example, manufacturers of medical technology see themselves confronted with a “discriminatory buy-in-China strategy”.

Patent infringements are also still a massive problem in China, she emphasized. When it comes to climate protection or species protection, on the other hand, cooperation with Beijing is essential, emphasized von der Leyen. That’s why it’s not about decoupling from China, but about reducing risks.

Macron urges China to hold peace talks

Macron Xi had previously urged help for a peace solution in the Ukraine war. Xi must bring Russia to its senses to enable peace in Ukraine, Macron said. China also supports the UN Charter, which calls for respect for the territorial integrity of states. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin violated this rule when he ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

Macron said lasting peace is as important to China as it is to France and Europe. “I know I can count on you … to bring Russia to their senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table,” Macron told Xi. “We must find a lasting peace.”

Macron and von der Leyen visit China’s President Xi

Marie von Mallinckrodt, ARD Beijing, daily news 5:00 p.m., April 6, 2023