Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a visit to Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin from March 20 to 22. It will be the Chinese leader’s first trip to Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The Kremlin said that during the talks, Xi and Putin will discuss “current affairs of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China”. The parties also plan to sign “a number of important bilateral documents”.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia “will give new impetus to the development of relations between the two countries, further strengthen mutual trust and understanding.” Chinese diplomacy added that Beijing intends to “maintain an objective position on the Ukrainian crisis and play a constructive role in advancing the negotiations”.

The official trip comes in the context of China’s recent proposal of a plan “to resolve the Ukrainian crisis politically”, presented on the one-year anniversary of the Ukrainian war, on February 24. China’s peace plan for the crisis contains 12 points, including the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, the resumption of direct dialogue between Moscow and Kiev and a call to avoid further escalation.

However, Beijing’s proposal did not gain support from the international community and, in particular, Ukraine, which said that China did not offer a basis for resolving the situation, but “only outlined its thoughts”.

Read too: Ukraine: Countries that today do not support Kiev will have ‘post-war consequences’

The Chinese leader’s trip also comes amid the latest decision by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine. The bilateral meeting in Beijing serves as a test for Xi Jinping’s stance on Russia’s isolation from the international community.

On the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Vladimir Putin visited China during the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics. At the time, in a joint statement, Putin and Xi Jinping affirmed a “boundary partnership” between the two countries.

Editing: Nicolau Soares


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