EU and China leaders meet on Ukraine crisis

EU leaders are concerned about China’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They blamed Beijing for not taking a strong enough stance. They expect Chinese leaders to take responsibility for ending the war.

On Friday, EU chiefs met their Chinese counterparts online for the first time in two years. They urged China to use its influence as a major power to stop Russian aggression. They also made it clear that Beijing should not help Moscow financially or militarily.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said no European citizen would understand any support for Russia’s ability to wage war. She added that such support would seriously damage China’s reputation in Europe.

Chinese leaders refused to condemn the invasion. They say they have encouraged the peace talks “in their own way”. And they have expressed concern that Europe is coordinating its policies with the United States.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hopes the EU can form its own perception of China, adopt an independent China policy and work with China for the steady and sustained development of relations.

Both sides agreed that the war threatened global security and the global economy. Von der Leyen stressed that China’s trade with the EU is far more important than its economic ties with Russia.

Christi C. Elwood