Xi Jinping, an ally of Russia, called for peace talks to avoid a nuclear conflict over Ukraine

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He received German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing, expressed concern about the war launched by Putin and called for “creating the conditions for the resumption of negotiations and opposing in conjunction with the use of nuclear weapons”

Xi Jinping, an ally of Russia, called for peace talks to avoid a nuclear conflict over Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets with the head of the Chinese regime Xi Jinping in Beijing

In a much discussed meeting this Friday, with the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and warned of a possible nuclear conflict.

The German leader is in Beijing for a one-day visit that has drawn criticism for China's tacit support for Russiaand lingering controversies over economic ties and security issues. human rights. This meeting comes after Xi further consolidated his authoritarian regime at a major Communist Party congress last month.

's visit Scholz reflects the importance of the commercial ties of Germany with China, the second largest economy in the world, particularly in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. Mercedes-Benz alone sold 758,863 cars in China last year, more than in any other country, according to company figures.

Scholz, who travels with important German business leaders, received a formal welcome from Xi, who was recently re-elected leader of the ruling Communist Party for a third term, in the Great Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing.

“Currently, the international situation is complex and changing,” Xi told Scholz according to state broadcaster CCTV. “As influential powers, China and Germany should work together in times of change and chaos to make more contributions to world peace and development.”

On Ukraine, Xi “pointed out that China supports Germany and the EUto play an important role in promoting peace talks and building a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework,” CCTV reported.

The international community should “create the conditions for the resumption of negotiations (and) jointly oppose the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons,” Xi said.

Without offering evidence, Russian leader Vladimir Putinrepeated Moscow's unproven accusation that Ukraine is planning a false flag attack with a radioactive dirty bomb that would attempt to immobilize Russia.

Ukraine has rejected They have vigorously dismissed the allegation and their Western allies have dismissed it as “patently false”. Ukraine argued that Russia could be making the accusation to cover its own plot to detonate a dirty bomb.

Xi Jinping, an ally of Russia, called for peace talks to avoid a nuclear conflict over Ukraine

Xi Jinping attends a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing

Scholz is the first leader of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries to meet with Xi since the start of the pandemic of COVID-19, which was first detected in China in 2019, and the first European leader to visit China since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. which Germany has strenuously opposed.

The diplomatically sensitive trip comes as Germany and the European Union work on their strategy towards an increasingly China assertive and authoritarian.

Beijing has provided diplomatic backing for Moscow by repeatedly calling for peace talks while refusing to support action at the United Nationswho criticize the invasion of Russia. He also accused the United States and NATO of provoking the attack and scathingly criticized the economic sanctions imposed on Russia.

In his opening remarks, Scholz referred to directly to the conflict that has created millions of refugees and disrupted global food and energy markets, saying, “We meet at a time of great tension.”

“In particular, I want to highlight theRussian war against Ukraine, which poses many problems for our rules-based world order,” Scholz said.

Scholz also referred to world hunger, the change climate change and developing world debt as important issues.

At a subsequent press conference, Scholz said he told Xi that “it is important that China exercises its influence over Russia.”

“President Xi and I agree that thenuclear threats are irresponsible and very dangerous. By using nuclear weapons, Russia would cross a line that the international community has drawn,” he said.

Scholz also said he mentioned human rights and market access, telling Xi that any change in the status of Taiwan's self-government “can only occur peacefully and by mutual agreement”. China claims the republic of the island as their own territory, to be brought under their control by force if necessary.

Russia-ally-xi Jinping called for peace talks to avoid a nuclear conflict over Ukraine

Olaf Scholz attends a meeting with the head of the Chinese regime Xi Jinping

In an apparent reference to European lawmakers and the Baltic state of Lithuania which China has banned and boycotted for its relations with Taiwan, Scholz said: “It is also important to make clear that economic measures against individual EU member states are directed against the entire EU. single market, and sanctions against EU legislators are not acceptable to us.”

Scholz has been criticized for making the visit to China so soon after Xi's triumph at last month's congress, in which he promoted allies who support his vision of tighter control over society and the economy and a more confrontational approach. to the West.

The visit also comes amid rising tensions over Taiwan and follows a UN report which says that China's human rights violations against Uyghurs and other ethnic groups in his Xinjiang region may constitute crimes against humanity.

Scholz is accompanied on the trip by a dozen top German business leaders, including the CEOs of Volkswagen, BMW, BASF, Bayer and Deutsche Bank, most of which are doing prosperous business in China. Scholz will also meet with company representatives in Beijing.

Xi Jinping, an ally of Russia, called for peace talks to avoid a nuclear conflict over Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets with Xi Jinping in Beijing

That makes some German observers wonder if the country is becoming too dependent on the Chinese market, as Russia did for energy supplies.

In a statement, VW 's boss in China, Ralf Brandstatter, said Sholz's visit is important in “politically and economically difficult times like these.”

China is Germany's most important trading partner, with 5,000 German companies active in the country and hundreds of thousands of German jobs linked to the Chinese market. More than 14 million jobs in China depend on doing business with European companies, Brandstatter said.

Scholz also met with Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who nominally has responsibility for China's economy.

In an article for the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Scholz said he would travel to Beijing “precisely because business as usual is not an option in this situation.”

Scholz's messages will face close scrutiny, particularly at home, where some have criticized him for normalizing China's behavior. While her government of nearly a year has signaled a departure from the staunchly trade-first approach of her predecessor, Angela Merkel, her trip follows internal discord over a Chinese shipping company's major investment in a container terminal in Germany's crucial port, Hamburg.

As China continues to impose strict restrictions due to COVID-19, his delegation was moving in a antivirus bubble, is undergoing testing and will not stay in Beijing overnight. At just 11 hours, it is the shortest trip to China by a German leader. The crew that took him to Beijing flew to South Korea to await the visit and avoid having to be quarantined.

German officials say the trip has with the aim of investigating where China is headed and what forms of cooperation are possible.

(With information from AP)