PHNOM PENH: EU chief Charles Michel said Saturday the bloc expected China to use “all the means at its disposal” to push Moscow to respect international law, days before a G20 summit expected to be dominated by the conflict in Ukraine.
The European Council president was speaking on the sidelines of a regional summit in Cambodia, where Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Southeast Asian leaders to support Kyiv.
While China remains a major trading partner of the European Union, officials have repeatedly called on Beijing to publicly condemn Russia’s actions – without success so far.
China has avoided criticising Moscow for invading Ukraine, instead blaming the United States and NATO for the war.
“We encourage the Chinese authorities to use all the means at their disposal to convince Russia to respect internationally recognised borders, to respect the sovereignty of Ukraine,” Michel told AFP.
He noted that Beijing has “often made statements supporting the concepts of international law, international cooperation”.
His remarks come days before the G20 meeting in Bali – where US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet.
Michel called the summit an important “opportunity to look each other in the eye”, adding: “What is happening in Ukraine is extremely serious for the Ukrainians first of all, but also for the rest of the world.”
Relations between China and the EU have deteriorated since sanctions were imposed by both sides over accusations of human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region.