The European Union told China’s envoy on Thursday that it expects Beijing to help push Russia to stop the bloodshed in Ukraine and withdraw from the country.
Senior EU foreign policy official Enrique Mora met China’s Li Hui in Brussels on the latest leg of Beijing’s special representative for Eurasian affairs’ European tour.
Li has received coordinated messages from Kyiv and its European backers that they want Beijing to use its influence over Moscow to end the war by withdrawing its invading army from Ukraine.
The Chinese envoy will travel to Moscow on Friday.
During the talks, the EU “welcomed” Li’s visit to Kyiv last week and a phone call from Chinese President Xi Jinping to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.
“The two sides discussed Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and ways to promote a just and sustainable peace,” an EU statement said.
Mora “highlighted that Ukraine was exercising its right to self-defence and that the European Union was committed to supporting Ukraine in the long term”.
The EU said it expects China, as a member of the United Nations Security Council, to work towards “immediately and unconditionally withdrawing all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine”.
“Both sides agreed to remain in touch and to continue working towards a sustainable peace in Ukraine,” the EU said.
Russia and China have close relations, with Xi visiting Moscow in March and saying ties were “entering a new era”.
While China says it is a neutral party on the Ukraine war, it has been criticised for refusing to condemn Moscow for the invasion.
EU politicians have reacted with scepticism to a vague list of proposals published by China that Beijing says are aimed at helping secure peace in Ukraine.
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