This weekend President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing, China in their first in-person meeting. The Chinese leader called on the world to “reject the threat of nuclear weapons”.
During the meeting, President Xi said: “The international community should … jointly oppose the use or threats to use nuclear weapons, advocate that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, in order to prevent a nuclear crisis in Eurasia.”
He told Chancellor Scholz that he opposed the use of nuclear weaponry in Europe without naming Russia.
President Xi refrained from criticising Putin or calling on Russia to withdraw its military from Ukraine.
The Chinese President also stressed the need for greater cooperation between China and Germany, due to the current “times of change and turmoil”.
CCTV, the Chinese state broadcaster, reported that the Chinese leader had “pointed out that China supports Germany and the EU in playing an important role in promoting peace talks and promoting the building of a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework.”
According to the news channel, President Xi said: “As large and influential countries, in times of change and turmoil China and Germany should work together all the more, to make more contributions to world peace and development.”
He added: “At present, the international situation is complex and volatile.”
Xinhua, the Chinese state-sponsored news agency, also reported that the Chinese leader supported Europe’s role in pushing peace talks over Ukraine in order to create a “balanced, effective and sustainable” European security framework.
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Chancellor Scholz visited China on Friday, making him the first leader of a G7 nation to visit the country since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The trip has caused some controversy in Germany, and the German leader defended his meeting with the Chinese leader, and said: “The President and I were able to declare that no nuclear weapons should be used in this war, that alone made the whole trip worthwhile.”
He told journalists: “It is good and right that I am in Beijing today.”
And also said that during times of crisis, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, bilateral meetings were all the more important.
The German Chancellor urged President Xi to use China’s influence as a permanent member of the United Nation’s security council to bring about an end to the Ukraine war.
He said: “I told President Xi that it is important for China to exercise its influence on Russia.”
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It comes at a time that the international community has been concerned that Russia would use nuclear weaponry in Ukraine after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was “not bluffing” about his country having “various weapons of destruction” and would “use all the means available to us”.
Russia has also accused Ukraine of planning to use a “dirty bomb”, an explosive made with radioactive materials, in their own country and blame Russia for the deed.
Ukraine requested that the United Nations nuclear agency inspect them following the allegations, the nuclear watchdog said there were no signs of “undeclared nuclear activities”.
US President Joe Biden has said the world could face “Armageddon” if Russia were to use nuclear weapons.
However, last week, President Putin downplayed his previous threats and said he has no intention of using nuclear weapons, as he said: “We see no need for that. There is no point in that, neither political nor military.”
President Biden responded that if the Russian leader didn’t intend to use such weapons then “why does he keep talking about it?”