Xi Jinping warns Putin not to use nukes in Ukraine

Xi Jinping has issued a direct warning to Putin not to use nukes in Ukraine in China’s bluntest rebuke yet to the Kremlin.

Xi also urged German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was visiting Beijing, to push for peace talks – saying the international community should ‘create conditions for the resumption of negotiations (and) oppose the use or threat of nuclear weapons.’

Scholz, the first Western leader to visit Beijing since Xi was given his third term as leader, urged Xi to put pressure on Putin to end attacks which have killed civilians and destroyed cities. 

 ‘President Xi and I agree: nuclear threats are irresponsible and incendiary,’ Scholz said after the meeting. ‘By using nuclear weapons, Russia would be crossing a line that the community of states has drawn together.’

Though Xi stopped short of criticising Putin directly, asking Russia to withdraw its troops, or blaming Moscow for the war – his comments none-the-less mark the biggest public rebuke yet delivered to the Kremlin.