Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Macron that China and France can resolve their differences to establish world peace.

He also asked China to use its influence over Russia to bring about peace Ukraine.

“I know I can count on you to bring Russia to its senses and bring everyone back to the negotiating table,” Macron said.

“We must see a sustainable peace [for Ukraine] … a peace that respects internationally recognized boundaries and avoids any form of expansion. I believe this is as important a question for China as it is for France and Europe. We are trying to work towards this peace, this stability.

Xi hosted a welcoming ceremony for Macron outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The two shook hands with officials from both sides, witnessed a flag-raising ceremony and inspected a Chinese military honor guard before proceeding to their meeting.

All Chinese and French officials except Xi and Macron wore masks at the opening ceremony – including top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi and foreign ministers Qin Gang and Catherine Colonna.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Earlier, Macron met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the country’s Legislative Chairman Zhao Leji.

“This shows the importance of China-France relations,” Li said in his opening remarks.

Li said he hoped a broad consensus would be reached following talks between Macron and the Chinese leaders.

He said it would chart the future development of China-France relations and send “positive signals” about cooperation between China and France, and China and Europe, in promoting world peace and stability.

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Macron told the crowd he wanted to “talk about Ukraine, but also about all the major conflicts and difficult situations around the world.”

“The ability to share a common analysis and create a common path is essential,” he said.

After landing in Beijing on Wednesday, the French president, making his first trip to China since 2019, said France would engage with China, particularly in areas of trade.

“We must not cut ourselves off, we must separate ourselves from China,” Macron said, adding that France would “proactively commit to continuing business relations with China.”

In rejecting economic disengagement with China, Macron is traveling with business delegations More than 60 executives from top French companies, including Airbus, Electrique de France and L’Oréal, are seeking greater cooperation with China.

Xi was expected to hold talks with Macron and European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen at 6.20pm on Thursday.

Xi will travel to Guangzhou with Macron on Friday, seen as a rare move, as the Chinese leader does not usually meet foreign leaders outside the capital. The two are expected to have an informal dinner after Macron meets Chinese students at a prominent university.

Macron and van der Leyen traveled to China in an unusual joint visit to show EU solidarity as Beijing plays a major role in deterring Russian President Vladimir Putin. Invasion of Ukraine.

Before his trip to Beijing, van der Leyen, who adopted a more hawkish tone against China Recently, it accused it of pursuing a “systemic transformation of the international order”. He warned that Beijing’s relations with Russia would determine the future of China-EU relations.

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Xi visited Moscow last month amid allegations that China may supply Russia with weapons, which Beijing has denied.

Beijing has declared neutrality in the war and recently called for a ceasefire, presenting a 12-point plan as part of its peace efforts. But the proposal was largely rejected by the EU for failing to demand Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine.

The visit comes amid growing competition between Washington and Beijing, with EU leaders divided over their China policy. That internal disconnect is also seen as an opportunity for Beijing to drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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