SPANISH Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez used his meeting on Friday with Xi Jinping to call on the Chinese president to engage in dialogue to bring an end to the ‘horrors of an illegal and unjust war’, in reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

His words came on the second and final day of his visit to China, during which the Socialist Party politician opted to focus on the war in Ukraine, given that Xi is the most important ally of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. 

Sanchez ended his visit by reiterating Spain’s backing of a peace plan that has been proposed by the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, according to news agency reports. 

He also called on Xi, whom he met with in Beijing, to listen to what Ukraine has to say regarding the ongoing conflict. 

Speaking before their meeting, the Chinese president called for sanctions against Russia to be scrapped and also for an end to the ‘mentality of the Cold War’. 

Xi had words of praise for Sanchez and his leadership of Spain, saying that it has been ‘one of the best countries in the EU in terms of economic growth’.

During his visit to China, Sanchez first appeared at the Boao Economic Forum, where he gave a speech to attendees, and then on Friday had a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

At that meeting he signed four bilateral cooperation agreements covering trade relations, tourism, agriculture and culture.

As well as focusing on the war in Ukraine, Sanchez also spoke out against the protectionist policies of China. He steered clear, however, of more controversial topics for the Chinese leadership such as human rights.

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