© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping looks on during a joint news statement with French President Emmanuel Macron after a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was a very positive step, the European Union ambassador to China said on Tuesday, while urging greater efforts to achieve peace.
Xi’s hour-long call with Zelenskiy for the first time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, fulfilled one of Kyiv’s long-standing goals, which it had publicly sought for months.
“We would like China to go further and help more to reach a just peace, which involves withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine,” Jorge Toledo Albinana told a press conference in the Chinese capital.
State media had reported that during their call, Xi told Zelenskiy China would send special representatives to Ukraine and hold talks with all parties seeking peace.
Albinana said expectations of further high-level dialogue this year included strategic talks between EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang, as well as topics such as trade and economy, digital affairs and climate.
Recent comments by Borrell on the disputed Taiwan Strait had been grossly exaggerated, Albinana added.
Borrell reportedly wrote in an opinion piece in the Journal du Dimanche that European navies should patrol the Strait.
“I think what he said has been grossly exaggerated,” Albinana said.
Taiwan “concerns us economically, commercially and technologically,” Borrell added in the piece.