Chinese, Spanish PMs discuss ukraine, ties

Photo: Reuters

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Friday as part of his two-day visit to China.

Sanchez was greeted at the Great Hall of the People by a guard of honor before the bilateral meeting between Li and the Chinese and Spanish delegations.

Sanchez met with China’s president Xi Jinping in the afternoon and discussed the situation in Ukraine and investment opportunities in the Mediterranean country.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Friday that he had expressed concern over Russia's invasion of Ukraine during a meeting earlier that day with Chinese President Xi Jinping and encouraged him to talk to Kyiv.

Sanchez told a news conference in Beijing he had told Xi that Spain supported the peace formula proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in November, which includes demands to restore Ukraine's territory to the status quo before Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

“I transmitted our concern at the illegal invasion of Ukraine,” Sanchez said, adding that he "encouraged Xi to talk to President Zelenskyy" to learn first-hand about Kyiv's peace plan.

"I believe it's a plan that lays the foundations for a durable peace in Ukraine and is perfectly aligned with the United Nations charter and its principles, which have been violated by Putin with his invasion," he said.

He added that he “encouraged Xi to talk to President Zelenskyy” and “expressed support” for Zelenskyy's peace formula announced last November.

French President Emmanuel Macron will head to China on April 5-8 for a rare visit to the rising superpower, in an awkward balancing act between his global statesman ambitions and his struggle to contain embarrassing pension protests at home.