In addition to his three-day trip to Moscow this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked Vladimir Putin to visit China on a state visit later this year.
The Chinese president declared he was prepared to stand guard over a world order based on international law, in what is being interpreted as an increasing show of solidarity for Moscow and his Russian counterpart.
The Chinese leader met with his close friend Putin yesterday during his first state visit to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, and they spoke for more than four hours about ideas to end the conflict that was previously articulated in a 12-point peace plan.
Putin stated that China and Russia shared plenty of common interests and tasks, while Xi, who landed yesterday at Moscow’s Vnunkovo airport to the sounds of a military band, praised the close connections between the two countries.
The Chinese prime minister thinks he will get a lot out of his visit.
The summit, which has been promoted as a journey of friendship, cooperation, and peace, represents a strengthening of ties between China and an increasingly isolated Russia. Moscow has come to rely on Beijing to mitigate the effects of western sanctions by purchasing Russian energy and commodities.
A day after the first round of discussions, the United States said that Xi Jinping’s trip to Russia, which occurred just after Vladimir Putin was charged with war crimes in Ukraine, indicated that China did not think the Russian autocrat should be held accountable for the atrocities.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned in a stinging address that Russian forces on the ground could benefit from Xi’s peace initiatives to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.
According to Blinken, Beijing may not hold Putin responsible for Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine because of Xi’s visit. This comes after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin on Friday, accusing the autocrat of committing war crimes by kidnapping Ukrainian children and resettling them in Russia with Russian families.
Putin, visibly nervous during yesterday’s discussions, grasped the arms of his chair as he declared he was willing to discuss Beijing’s plan to end the war in Ukraine, a move that has been regarded with suspicion in Kyiv and the West due to China’s consistent support for Russia.
They sat down to a seven-course feast featuring nelma, a freshwater fish from the Pechora River in northern Russia, as well as Russian wine, pancakes stuffed with quail, and a traditional seafood soup.
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Xi Jinping Meets Vladimir Putin in Show of Anti-West Unity
With the exception of a 12-point “peace plan” that called for an end to Western sanctions, negotiations that would see Ukraine cede territory, a NATO pull-back from its eastern borders, and reconstruction efforts that are likely to benefit Chinese contractors, China has not offered any concrete proposals to end the war.
Moreover, Blinken today voiced worries that China was defending the ‘sovereignty and territorial integrity’ of Ukraine with its ‘peace’ plans. China has often repeated Russian talking lines about NATO expansionism and stood in solidarity with Moscow despite its own calls for peace.
Rumors have circulated that the Russian strongman is battling cancer or Parkinson’s disease, and during the meeting, Putin was observed grasping the arm of his chair to hide the fact that his hands were noticeably trembling. Also, he was observed tapping his left foot nervously on the ground.
China looks to Russia as a supplier of oil and gas for its energy-hungry economy and as an ally in resisting what both countries perceive as US dominance of international affairs. Also, the two nations, who are two of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have conducted joint military exercises.
Before they sat down and began their conversation, they shook hands, called each other “dear friend,” and offered praises to one another. Putin wished Xi luck in his reelection and expressed hope for even closer ties.
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