KYIV, Ukraine (London Post in Collaboration with AP ) — Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Moscow next week, offering a major diplomatic boost to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the same day the International Criminal Court announced it wants to put the Russian leader on trial for alleged war crimes.
Xi’s visit was the latest sign of Beijing’s emboldened diplomatic ambitions, and came amid sharpening East-West tensions over the war in Ukraine, now in its 13th month.
The U.S. on Friday said it would oppose any effort by China at the meeting to propose a ceasefire in Ukraine as the “ratification of Russian conquest.”
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby encouraged Xi to reach out to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to get his country’s perspective on the war and avoid any “one-sided” proposals.
China has sought to project itself as neutral in the conflict, even while it has refused to condemn Moscow’s aggression and declared last year that it had a “no-limits” friendship with Russia. Beijing has denounced Western sanctions against Moscow, and accused NATO and the United States of provoking Putin’s military action. During the conflict, China has insisted that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected. However, it remains unclear whether he sympathizes with Moscow’s claim to seize Ukrainian territory.
Russian forces remain bogged down in a war of attrition centered on these areas of the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.
The meeting with Putin will be his first visit since the regional summit in Uzbekistan in September. Earlier, Putin attended the opening ceremony of his 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and met with President Xi shortly before sending troops to Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that Putin and President Xi Jinping will meet one-on-one at an informal dinner on Monday. A broader meeting with officials from both countries on a range of issues is scheduled for Tuesday.
Kiev not only wants Russia to withdraw from territory it has held since her February 2022 all-out invasion. Zelensky has also called on Russia to withdraw from Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, a move that has been condemned illegal in most parts of the world.
But Putin has no intention of abandoning the Kremlin’s achievements. Instead, on Friday he emphasized the importance of holding Crimea.
“Obviously, security issues are a top priority for Crimea and Sevastopol,” he said, referring to Crimea’s largest city.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said Thursday in a speech to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleva that Beijing was concerned that the war would spiral out of control and was urging talks with Russia toward a political solution. .
Russia could use the ceasefire to regroup and “allow it to resume its attacks on Ukraine when it chooses,” he warned.
He argues that China has its own territorial disputes and that Taiwan must be seized by force if necessary. Tensions between the US and Russia escalated further this week after a US drone was destroyed in the Black Sea on Tuesday after an encounter with Russian fighter jets.
Putin invited Xi to Russia in a teleconference in late December. Putin said the visit “shows the whole world the strength of Russia-China relations” and could be “the most important political event of the year in bilateral relations”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday that Xi and Putin would discuss “bilateral relations and important international and regional issues of common concern.”
5 Views, 1 views today