Chinese president to visit Russia in clear support for Putin
China announced that Chairman Xi Jinping will visit Russia from Monday to Wednesday. The move is a clear show of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin as he faces global pressure to end the invasion of Ukraine.
The Kremlin confirmed the visit, saying it would take place “at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.”
Xi and Putin will discuss “further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The meeting will help deepen “Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena,” the Russian government added.
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The two leaders will also sign “important bilateral documents,” the statement said.
China was determined to act in its own interests, while much of the world condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which crossed the one-year mark last month.
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Xi refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion but called for a peaceful settlement. China also called on the international community to recognize and respect the sovereignty of Russian rule over its territory, which Russia claims includes parts of Ukraine.
Beijing has repeatedly condemned the US and NATO for provoking Russia.
Putin invited Xi to visit Russia in late December.
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Putin said the visit could “demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russian-Chinese ties” and “become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang called his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday, saying that China “has always taken an objective and fair position on the Ukrainian issue, committed itself to promoting peace and advancing negotiations, and urges the international community to create conditions for peace talks.”
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President Xi intends to speak with President of Ukraine Zelensky after meeting with Putin.
This will be the first conversation between Zelenskiy and Xi since Putin first invaded Ukraine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.