Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang is visiting Germany, France, and Norway this week. On Wednesday, he met with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna in Paris. Colonna said that China has an important role to play in global peace and stability as Beijing seeks to mediate in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She asked Qin to urge Russia to “return to peace” and “fully respect” the UN Charter. Colonna also wanted to discuss North Korea’s recent missile launches.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited China last month and sparked controversy by saying Europe should not be a follower of either Washington or Beijing or get caught up in any escalation over the future of Taiwan. Some allies criticized his remarks, including German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius, who called them “unfortunate.”
China has sought to portray itself as a neutral party in Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, recent comments by China’s ambassador to France questioning the sovereignty of ex-Soviet states threw its neutral stance into question. Beijing’s 12-point position paper on ending the conflict was met with skepticism by the United States and NATO.