Saturday, May 18, 2024

Xi calls for global ceasefire during Paris Olympics

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Trade issues topped the agenda, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warning, “For trade to be fair, access to each other’s markets also needs to be reciprocal.”


China’s President Xi Jinping has said his country is willing to work with France towards a global “cessation of war” during the upcoming Paris Olympics.

At a press conference in Paris, Xi said China has been playing an “active role in achieving peace” in the war in Ukraine.

“The world today is not very peaceful. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a responsible major country, China is willing to work with France to take the Paris Olympics as an opportunity to advocate a global ceasefire and cessation of war during the Games,” Xi said.

Those comments echoed similar remarks from his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who called for “an Olympic truce for all theatres of war.”

Trade disputes

Trade issues were at the top of the agenda at the talks between the two leaders, as Macron denounced China’s trade practices as shoring up protections and subsidies.

A strong advocate of Europe’s economic sovereignty, he raised French concerns about a Chinese anti-dumping investigation into cognac and other European brandy, as well as tensions over French cosmetics and other sectors.

On Monday, he welcomed Xi’s “openness” about potential provisional measures against French cognac and China’s commitment “to refrain from selling any arms or aid to Moscow and to strictly control the export of dual-use goods.”

China claims neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, but Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin declared their governments had a “no limits friendship” before Moscow’s invasion of the country. 

US intelligence officials have also said China has supplied Russia with components and other materials needed to sustain the defence industry.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who was also in Paris, issued a stark warning to Xi that the EU executive will leave no stone unturned in its bid to stop Beijing’s heavily subsidised manufacturing sector and unfair trade practices from suffocating Europe’s homegrown industries.

It is the clearest sign to date that the bloc is preparing for a potential trade war with Beijing.

“For trade to be fair, access to each other’s markets also needs to be reciprocal,” von der Leyen told reporters.

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