Xi to visit Moscow for Putin meeting cementing relations with Russia

The Kremlin has confirmed that the Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a three-day visit to Russia next week to meet with Vladimir Putin, Xi will be in Russia from March 20 to March 22, the Kremlin said. Chinese spokesperson Wang Wenbin, at a regular news briefing, said the objective of the visit is to further deepen bilateral trust. China’s foreign ministry said Xi will exchange opinions on major international and regional issues with Russian President Putin during his visit.

“During the talks, they will discuss topical issues of further development of comprehensive partnership relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China,” the Kremlin said.

“A number of important bilateral documents will be signed,” it added.

In an apparent further cementing of relations between the two nuclear superpowers, it was confirmed that Xi would fly into Moscow from March 20-22, and hold meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin,

Though the visit was expected, it will still come as a blow to the West, which has made Russia a world pariah since its invasion Ukraine just over a year ago.

The overseas trip marks Xi’s first after he secured an unprecedented third term as China’s head of state.

It also comes as the 69-year-old leader seeks to burnish his status as a global statesman and navigate escalating competition with the United States and its allies.

Beijing has so far taken an ambiguous stance to Russiait’s war in Ukrainedeclining to back down or condemn it.

But Xi’s visit also comes just weeks after Beijing sent its top diplomat, Wang Yi, to Moscow who was pictured with Putin.

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A direct conversation with Mr Zelensky, if it happens, would mark a significant step in Beijing’s efforts to be seen as a peacemaker in Ukrainewhich have so far been met with skepticism in Europe and the United States.

The US accused China of “trying to play both sides” by purporting to be neutral and in favor of peace, but in reality simply reiterating the Russian rhetoric of the West posing “legitimate security concerns”.

While Mr Zelensky has not been so direct, he has also questioned the usefulness of the Chinese peace proposals, urging them to respect his own plans.

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