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Xi Jinping met with Vladimir Putin. Western media comments

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Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. Western media point out, among other things, the length of the talks between the leaders, as well as Beijing’s attempt to present itself as a party that can act as a mediator in the matter of the war in Ukraine.

The leader of China Xi Jinping arrived on Monday on a state visit to Russia – reported the media in both countries. China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that a “grand welcome ceremony” was held in Russia in honor of Xi. According to the agency, Xi and Putin will conduct “an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest.”

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CNN recalled that this was the first visit by a Chinese leader since Moscow launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and just days after International Criminal Court in The Hague, accused the Russian president of committing war crimes in Ukraine, and issued a warrant for his arrest.

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Pancakes with quails and four hours of talk

Journalists of the French “Le Parisien” assessed that the visit of the Chinese president itself is perceived as an expression of support for Moscow. The newspaper stressed that the conversation Vladimir Putin with Xi Jinping lasted over four hours.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir PutinSERGEI KARPUHIN/PAP/EPA

In turn, the German “Tagesschau”, writing about the visit of the Chinese leader, emphasized that both countries declared “good neighborly relations” and “certain partnership”. “However, Xi caused a stir with statements about the Russian elections in 2024,” it said, explaining that these words attracted the attention of the Russian media because Putin had not yet announced his candidacy.

“The Guardian” mentioned that in connection with Xi’s statement, the Kremlin had to react, denying that the Chinese leader had “knowledge of Putin’s plans”. The British daily stressed that the leaders enjoyed a six-course meal that included pancakes with quail and mushrooms, fish and pomegranate sorbet.

China’s goals are difficult to reconcile

Another German daily Spiegel mentioned, citing Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, that Putin plans to give Xi “detailed explanations” about Russia’s view of the situation in Ukraine. Moscow said it would “discuss Beijing’s alleged proposals for a solution conflict in Ukraine“.

The Spanish “El Pais” drew attention to the skeptical US reactions to the “peace proposals” of the Chinese president. “The meeting raised high expectations because of the mediating role that China can play in possible peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine,” it said.

“The leaders are to meet again on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Kiev reiterated that any peace initiative must start with the withdrawal of Russian troops from its territory,” it added.

The Italian Ansa agency assessed that the goals of the Chinese leader – strengthening strategic interactions with Russia and accrediting himself as a credible mediator in the conflict in Ukraine – will not be easy to reconcile, especially in the eyes of the decidedly skeptical West as to Beijing’s true intentions.

Main photo source: SERGEI KARPUHIN/PAP/EPA

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