China’s Xi to visit Putin in Moscow as Beijing seeks larger global role

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Russia from Monday to Wednesday, the latest sign of Beijing’s diplomatic ambitions to support Russian President Vladimir Putin amid rising tensions between East and West over the war in Ukraine. It is a clear demonstration.

Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine is expected to dominate talks between Putin and Xi Jinping. China has refused to condemn Moscow’s aggression and has tried to portray itself as neutral in the conflict, even as Beijing declared last year that its friendship with Russia has “no limits”.

Both China and Russia announced Xi’s visit to Moscow on Friday. The visit offers Putin a diplomatic shot in the arm as Western leaders seek to isolate him over the war, now in its 13th month.

China’s refusal to condemn Russia, condemning Western sanctions and accusing NATO and the United States of instigating Putin’s military action has angered Washington as it competes with Beijing for influence. Is.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin and Xi would meet one-on-one at an informal dinner on Monday. Wider talks involving officials from both countries are scheduled to take place on Tuesday. Peskov would not provide details about the talks.

During the war in Ukraine, China has said that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected. However, it remains unclear whether his position is intended to position China as a neutral peacemaker or suggests that Beijing is sympathetic to Moscow’s claims to annex Ukrainian territory.

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang contacted his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Koliba and told him that Beijing was concerned about the war spiraling out of control and urged Moscow to discuss a political solution.

China has always maintained an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue, committed to promoting peace and promoting dialogue, and called on the international community to create conditions for peace talks.

Koliba later tweeted that he and Qin “discussed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity.” Ukraine has listed Russia’s withdrawal from occupied territories as a key peace condition, and China has territorial integrity issues with Taiwan, which it claims it can control by force if necessary. To be brought under your control.

“I highlighted the importance of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s) peace formula to end aggression and restore peace in Ukraine.”

Beijing’s apparent deep dive into Ukraine’s problems follows its success last week in talks between Iran and its main Middle East rival, Saudi Arabia. The two countries agreed to restore diplomatic relations after years of tension.

The deal catapulted China into an important role in Middle East politics, previously reserved for global heavyweights like the United States.

Behind this, Xi called for China to play a bigger role in managing global affairs.

Washington has marshalled Western military and diplomatic efforts against Putin, but the Russian leader has shown no signs of softening his bellicose stance.

The disaster after a US drone collided with Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea on Tuesday further heightened tensions between the US and Russia, although it also marked the first talks between the countries’ defense and military chiefs since October. started

China last month called for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks between Kiev and Moscow. Zelenskiy cautiously welcomes Beijing’s involvement but does not seem to go beyond it.

Putin invited Xi to visit Russia during a video conference call between the two in late December. Putin said the visit could “demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russia-China relations” and “become the most important political event of the year in bilateral relations.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday that Xi will discuss bilateral relations with President Putin in-depth on major international and regional issues of common concern, promote strategic cooperation and practical cooperation between the two countries. will will create new momentum in the development of bilateral relations.”

“The world is currently entering a new era of turmoil and reform with the rapid evolution of this century’s changes. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and important major powers, China and Russia’s relationship The importance and implications are enormous. Two-way circle,” he added.

The Kremlin announced Xi’s visit on Friday, saying it would be “at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.”

The Kremlin said in a statement that Xi and Putin will discuss “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China” as well as “perspectives for deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena.” I will exchange ideas.”

The two leaders will also sign “important bilateral documents”, the statement said.

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