Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin a visit to Russia on Monday at the invitation of Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said the Russian leader, who called Xi a “good old friend”, had “high expectations” for the event.
Xi’s Monday arrival in Moscow at Putin’s invitation was confirmed by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
As the Kremlin said in a communiqué, on the eve of the visit Vladimir Putin in an article for the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily, he called Xi a “good old friend.” He also noted that he had “high expectations” in connection with the planned talks.
“This groundbreaking event confirms the special nature of the Russian-Chinese partnership, which has always been based on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests. We have high expectations for the upcoming talks. We have no doubt that they will give a powerful new impetus to our entire bilateral relationship. This is also a great opportunity for me to meet my old, good friend with whom we have cordial relations,” Putin wrote.
The Wall Street Journal reported that after meeting with Putin, Xi plans to talk over the Internet with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. This would be the first direct contact between the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February 2022.
On Thursday, the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Qin Gang spoke by phone with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba. Kuleba announced that the conversation concerned the principle of territorial integrity and that he emphasized the importance of the peace formula presented in November 2022 by Zelensky.
According to the Chinese communiqué, Qin expressed concern about the prolonged escalation of the “crisis” and fears that the situation could “spread out of control”. He added that China they hope to resume peace negotiations, ceasefire and find a political solution in which they will play a “constructive role”.
China’s communist authorities have not condemned the Russian aggression and refrain from calling it an invasion. Chinese communiqués usually refer to the “crisis” or the “Ukrainian question”. Beijing also opposes the sanctions imposed on Moscow and strengthens cooperation with it in many areas, including the military.
China’s plan for a “political solution to the Ukrainian crisis”
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently announced an official “position on a political solution to the Ukraine crisis”, in which it called for respect for the territorial integrity of “all countries”, called for a ceasefire and peace talks, and generally condemned nuclear threats.
However, Beijing expressed opposition to “unilateral sanctions”, as Beijing previously described the restrictions imposed on Moscow. The Chinese authorities also promoted the Kremlin’s propaganda narrative and made accusations FOR THIS for fueling the conflict by supplying Ukraine with arms.
The Chinese authorities have repeatedly stated that they will play a “constructive role” in efforts to end the conflict. Beijing’s attempts to create the image of a mediator are welcomed in USA and Europe with deep skepticism, and many experts believe that China is on Russia’s side, supporting it politically and propaganda. The US authorities believe that China is also considering supplying arms to the Russian army.
Main photo source: SERGEI BOBYLEV/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/PAP/EPA