Next week, Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Russia, seemingly as a sign of support for Vladimir Putin.
China has long proclaimed a friendship with Russia that knows no bounds and has refrained from denouncing Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, even as it calls for the respect of all nations’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The visit will occur “at Vladimir Putin’s invitation,” the Kremlin stated in a statement on Friday, March 17.
The discussions, which will take place from Monday to Wednesday, will center on the “deepening” relationship and “strategic cooperation” between the two regimes.
Putin personally attended the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing last year, and Xi last paid a visit to Russia in 2019.
According to a statement from the Kremlin, Xi and Putin will talk about “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China” and “exchange views in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena”.
‘Important bilateral documents’ will also be signed by the two leaders, according to the statement.
Additionally, Beijing has criticized western sanctions and charged that the US, NATO, and Nato have provoked Russia.
During a video conference call the two had in late December, Putin invited Xi to come to Russia.
The visit, Putin said, could ‘demonstrate to the whole world the strength of the Russian-Chinese ties’ and ‘become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations’.
China called for dialogue and respect for the territorial sovereignty of all nations in a 12-point position paper on the conflict that was published last month.
Both China and Russia are strategic allies and frequently promote their so-called “no limits” alliance.
When questioned about the rumored call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a routine press conference on Friday, Beijing’s foreign ministry declined to confirm it.
On Thursday, China’s foreign minister called for the resumption of peace negotiations between Kiev and Moscow “as soon as possible.” According to Kyiv, the call also emphasized the significance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
China’s foreign minister said Beijing was worried about the year-old grinding conflict with Russia spiraling out of control in a rare phone conversation with his counterpart from Ukraine.