Macron In China, Might Tip Odds In Ukraine Favor


French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Beijing on a visit signaling France’s intent to revive dialogue with China.

Macaron was due to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

The visit is widely seen as an opportunity to change the course of the Russian war in Ukraine, especially since Xi could have a significant influence on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

China is a strong trading partner for Russia. It continued to import all its needs of oil from Moscow, despite crippling Western sanctions slapped on the country to force Putin to end the war in Ukraine. China, however, did not provide any military support to its ally yet.

Mideast political circles suggest that Macron’s visit could culminate in pressure on China to refrain from supplying Moscow with arms.

The Elysee Palace truly believes that due to China’s proximity to Russia, “it is the only country in the world capable of directly and radically affecting the conflict in one way or another.”

Macron, expressed hope during a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden before heading to Beijing, that China will engage with America and France in joint efforts to “accelerate an end to the war in Ukraine and establish a sustainable peace.”

 The strategic partnership between Paris and Beijing must appear on the horizon, especially at a time of escalating tensions in different cities of Ukraine, where Russia is close to full control of Bakhmut.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy did not hide his fear that Russian forces will advance further to control more Ukrainian cities.

During the talks that the French president, who is a U.S. ally and close to Ukraine, will hold with his Chinese counterpart on Thursday. The two leaders will discuss strategic issues and international crises, the most prominent of which is the Russian war on Ukraine, as well as improving economic relations, according to French media reports.

 European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will participate in part of the discussions.

Jordanian political analyst Amer al-Sabaileh told Albawaba that China has a significant role globally and must be approached with “great caution.”

Sabaileh explained that Europe is trying to deliver messages to China that there are Chinese and European interests that must be preserved, whether related to the trade balance or political relations between them.

Now, Europe is offering what it can in terms of diplomacy, especially since the ball is currently in the Chinese court, Sabaileh said, explaining that China must realize that it also has considerable interests with Europe it can’t afford to risk. “Thus, China will not take hostile measures towards Europe and will not supply arms to Russia,” he concluded.

After landing in Beijing, Macron met with representatives of the French community in China. Media outlets reported that Macron said during the meeting that China “proposed a peace plan and thus shows a will to take responsibility and try to pave a path leading to peace.”

In February, China proposed a plan for peace in Ukraine, which consists of 12 clauses that include a cease-fire, respect for the legitimate interests of all countries, security for all sides in the conflict and a settlement of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

Macaron’s three-day visit, which may turn the scale upside down, is the first since 2019 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the strict restrictions imposed by China to confront the pandemic. It comes in light of the deterioration of trade exchange between Paris and Beijing.

Macron is accompanied with some 60 heads of French companies, including giants like Airbus and the National Electricity Company, in order to revive trade exchange between the two nations.

Written by Albawaba writer Razan Abdelhadi

Al Bawaba News

Al Bawaba provides top stories and breaking news about the Middle East and the world. The Al Bawaba network consists of several web portals and media platforms.

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