Macron Says He Can Count on Xi to Bring Russia, Ukraine to Negotiating Table

Macron is in China with the EU's European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who said Xi wants to talk with Zelensky

French President Emmanuel Macron told Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday that he can count on the Chinese leader to bring Russia to “its senses” and bring the warring sides in Ukraine to the negotiating table.

“I know I can count on you … to bring Russia to its sense and bring everyone back to the negotiating table,” Macron said. “We need to find a lasting peace … I believe that this is also an important issue for China, as much as it is for France and for Europe.”

Following talks with Macron, Xi said China and France should work together to push for a political solution to end the war and avoid steps that would escalate the conflict. “China is willing to call on the international community, along with France, to maintain rationality and restraint, and avoid taking actions that will further escalate the crisis or make it out of control,” Xi said.

Macron made the trip to China with Ursula von der Leyen, the EU’s European Commission president. Von der Leyen said that Xi expressed a willingness to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and said a conversation could happen when “conditions and time are right.”

Xi emerged as a potential mediator between Russia and Ukraine after China released a 12-point peace plan for the conflict and he traveled to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Zelensky has maintained maximalist demands as preconditions for peace talks but expressed an openness to China’s proposal and wants to speak with Xi.

President Biden has taken a much different approach to China’s calls for peace by immediately rejecting the idea of Beijing as a mediator. Ahead of Xi’s trip to Moscow, the White House came out against calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.