The leader of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, will visit Russia on March 20-22
President of the People’s Republic of China and leader of the ruling Communist Party of China Xi Jinping will visit Russia from March 20 to 22. This was reported by the press service of the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on Friday morning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin previously said that the Chinese leader intends to come to Russia in the spring. The exact dates of the visit are named only today. According to the Kremlin, the visit is called a state visit – this is the highest rank of official visits.
As stated in the Kremlin’s message, during the negotiations the parties will discuss “issues of further development of relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.” “An exchange of views in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena” is also planned. Also, as stated in the message, the signing of important bilateral documents will take place, which ones are not specified.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China announced that there would be an “in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, international and regional issues”, and called the main goal of the trip to strengthen bilateral ties with Russia.
This is Xi Jinping’s first visit to Russia after the beginning of the large-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year and his first foreign visit after being elected as the President of the People’s Republic of China for a third term. Putin came to China for the opening of the Olympics last year shortly before the invasion.
Earlier, a number of Western mass media wrote that China is considering the possibility of supplying Russia with weapons, in particular drones, artillery and ammunition. Politico reported on Friday that Chinese companies have already delivered to Russia a thousand assault rifles that can be used for war, as well as other equipment, including parts for drones and bulletproof vests; however, we are not talking about large-scale deliveries. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned in February that Beijing would face consequences if it began supplying Russia with weapons. In China, such plans were denied.
After negotiations of the high-ranking Chinese representative Wang Yi, first with Western leaders, and then with Putin in Moscow in February, China put forward an initiative to end the conflict in Ukraine. It mentions respect for the sovereignty and integrity of all countries, but at the same time contains a call for the lifting of sanctions and for a truce, as can be seen from the text, with the preservation of the current line of demarcation, which is unacceptable for Ukraine. Kyiv did not directly reject this initiative, but noted that it adheres to its proposals, which provide for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops.
The day before, as reported, the heads of the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine and China spoke on the phone.
- China did not condemn Russia for the invasion and, in particular, did not vote for the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly. In the conditions of Western sanctions, observers note, the stability of the Russian economy largely depends on China’s position. China also accused the USA and the West of provoking the conflict in Ukraine. At the same time, Beijing did not officially recognize the annexation of Crimea and Ukrainian regions, and also, according to media reports, made it clear to the Kremlin that the use of nuclear weapons would be unacceptable.