Chinese leader Xi Jinping made his most direct criticism yet of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine on Friday, warning the Russian president not to resort to nuclear weapons and calling on visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to push for peace talks.
Xi’s warning comes just over a month after Putin threatened Ukraine with a nuclear attack, a sign of how far Ukrainian forces had rocked the Kremlin with their advances against invaders in the East.
The international community, said Xi, should “jointly oppose the use of, or threats to use, nuclear weapons,” according to a statement carried by Xinhua, China’s state news agency. The world should also “advocate that nuclear weapons cannot be used, a nuclear war cannot be waged, in order to prevent a nuclear crisis” in Europe or Asia, Xi added.
The Chinese leader, who just weeks ago secured a norm-breaking third term in office, asked Germany and Europe to “play an important part in calling for peace and facilitating negotiations.”