Following meetings in Beijing on Friday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he encouraged Chinese President Xi Jinping to hold talks with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss a peace plan with Russia, suggesting the two leaders may have common ground.
Speaking to reporters, Sanchez said he expressed to the Chinese leader Spain's and Europe's concerns about what Sanchez called Russian President Vladimir Putin's 'illegal aggression against Ukraine."
Sanchez said he was especially interested in the details of China's position on Ukraine following Xi's visit to Moscow and his meetings with Putin.
The Spanish prime minister said he told Xi about a peace plan put forth by Zelenskyy, and that Sanchez believed it was a plan "that lays the foundations for achieving fair and lasting peace for Ukraine."
He said he encouraged Xi to talk to Zelenskyy about the plan.
Sanchez also gave credit to Xi and the Chinese government for its positions on two issues he felt were important: its total rejection of using or even threatening to use nuclear weapons, and its respect of territorial integrity.
Sanchez made the trip to China not only in his capacity as the leader of Spain, but also as a member of NATO and as a member of the European Union. Spain will assume the rotating presidency of the council of the EU in July.
Sanchez's visit comes less than a week before European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Beijing to meet with Xi.
Macron invited Von der Leyen, leader of the EU's executive branch, to join him on the visit to present a united European front in the meetings with the Chinese leader.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.