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China President Xi’s 3-Day State Visit to Russia Announced by Kremlin


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Chinese President Xi Jinping will make an important state visit to Moscow next week, where he will hold pivotal talks with his steadfast ally, President Vladimir Putin, a year after Russia began its controversial aggression against Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin in Beijing said on Friday that Xi will be in Russia from Monday to Wednesday.

China’s foreign ministry described Xi’s trip as a “visit for peace” aimed at “practicing true multilateralism…improving global governance and contributing to the world’s development and progress.”

Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference that the two leaders will exchange views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues.

“Currently, changes unseen in a century are developing rapidly, and the world has entered a new period of turmoil,” he said.

“China will stick to its objective and fair position on the Ukraine crisis and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks,” he added.

The Kremlin said the two presidents will talk about “strategic cooperation” and “discuss deepening the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.”

Xi’s visit comes just over a year after Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking a war that isolated Moscow on the international stage.

China, a major ally of Russia, has sought to position itself as a neutral party to the conflict, urging Moscow and Kiev to resolve it through negotiations.

In a 12-point position paper on the war last month, China called for dialogue and respect for the territorial sovereignty of all countries.

But Western leaders have repeatedly criticized Beijing for failing to condemn the invasion, accusing it of providing Moscow with diplomatic cover for its war.

The United States has accused China of contemplating arms shipments to support the Russian war – allegations Beijing has vehemently denied.

China peacemaker?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in February he planned to meet Xi after Beijing invited them for talks.

China’s foreign ministry did not confirm on Friday whether he intended to do so.

However, the foreign ministers of the two countries held a phone call on Thursday, the first since Qin Gang took office.

Chen urged Kiev and Moscow to resume peace talks “as soon as possible,” adding that “China is concerned that the crisis may escalate and spiral out of control,” according to an official statement.

His Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, said that the call included a discussion of “the importance of the principle of territorial integrity,” without going into details.

Former socialist allies with tempestuous relations, China and Russia have in recent years deepened cooperation in the economic, military and political sectors as part of what they call a “borderless” partnership.

Both sides have repeatedly stressed the close relationship between Putin and Xi, who began a third five-year term as president this month in a break with a long precedent.

Xi last visited Russia in 2019, while Putin attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing last year, and the two leaders met at a regional security gathering in Uzbekistan in September.

Xi, 69, also helped catalyze a China-brokered deal to restore relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran last week.

“Whether (China) actually ramps up its efforts to play the role of peacemaker in a meaningful way will depend on the substance of what it proposes during meetings with leaders from Ukraine and Russia,” said Ja-Ian Zhong, an associate professor at the National University. Singapore.

“Their previous peace plan was more about general principles than actionable proposals,” said the Chinese foreign affairs expert.

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