By supporting Russia, China is violating its commitments to the United Nations, Borrell said

“You cannot side with the aggressor,” Borrell said. “A permanent member of the UN Security Council is clearly expected to defend an international order based on rules, and China has a moral obligation to contribute to a just peace,” he added.

Borrell condemned the country’s increasingly moving from a position of EU partner to a rival role on the global stage. He made the comments just before von der Leyen and Macron’s visit to China, where both will promote the view that relations between the G27 and China will be based on Beijing’s friendship with Russia.

Macron and von der Leyen will warn Chinese President Xi Jinping against sending weapons to Russia. Just before the visit, von der Leyen had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to coordinate strategy.

Despite Beijing’s claim to be neutral in the war, the Chinese leader’s trip to Moscow two weeks ago and his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has all the visuals and appearance of a meeting between close friends, according to AP.

“They agreed that nuclear weapons should not be used abroad,” Borrell said of the Moscow meeting. He added that Russia announced the deployment of tactical weapons in Belarus just days later.

Borrell said he expected a change of heart from Beijing if relations did not deteriorate. “We have made clear to China that its attitude towards Russian atrocities and war crimes will determine the quality of our relationship,” he said.

Discussions between von der Leyen and Macron with the Chinese president will primarily discuss trade, the war in Ukraine and climate change. European officials are expected to stress China’s important role in promoting peace and tell Xi he should make direct contact with Zelensky after his visit to Moscow last month. They will also press him to pressure Putin to stop threatening to use nuclear weapons.

Von der Leyen is also likely to ask the Chinese leader to use his influence to ensure that a grain export deal that has helped lower world food prices is extended until mid-May, when it is expected to expire.

The EU does not expect a significant change in China’s attitude, but believes it is necessary to continue dealing with this great power, especially on trade issues.

By 2022, China is the EU’s third-largest goods export partner and the EU’s largest import partner. EU leaders want to rebalance trade ties while overcoming the 27-country bloc’s dependence on China in strategic sectors such as critical raw materials, computing-related technologies, semiconductors and clean technologies.

Roderick Glisson

"Tv nerd. Passionate food specialist. Travel practitioner. Web guru. Hardcore zombieaholic. Unapologetic music fanatic."

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