Chinese, Russian Officials Meet About Ukraine

Chinese President Xi Jinping | Image byFrederic Legrand - COMEO

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Russia on Monday for a three-day visit.

The meeting between Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin was announced by both countries on Friday. The Kremlin said the two leaders expected to discuss “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China,” as well as exchange views “in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena,” per WFAA.

“Currently, the world is entering a new period of turbulence and reform with the accelerated evolution of changes of the century. As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and important major countries, the significance and impact of the China-Russia relations go far beyond the bilateral sphere,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, per PBS.

Wenbin added that Xi’s visit would promote strategic cooperation and practical cooperation between the two countries and propel the development of bilateral relations.

China has sought to portray itself as neutral in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Despite such claims, however, Xi and Putin declared the two countries had a “no-limits friendship” last year, per AP News.

China has stated that all nations’ sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, but it has also denounced Western sanctions and accused NATO and the U.S. of inciting Russia to use military force.

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang expressed concerns to Dmytro Kuleba, his Ukrainian counterpart, and encouraged negotiations with Russia to find a diplomatic solution. Kuleba, who spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken the same day, later tweeted that he and Qin discussed how important territorial integrity is.

“During my call with China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang today, we discussed the significance of the principle of territorial integrity. I underscored the importance of @ZelenskyyUa’s Peace Formula for ending the aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine,” tweeted Kuleba.

During their December video conference call, Putin extended an invitation to Xi to visit Russia. Putin said the visit 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,” per WION News.

Joseph Torigian, a Chinese-Russian relations expert at American University in Washington, D.C. said China-U.S. relations are currently strained, and the meeting could convince China to demonstrate its power.

“China can signal that it could even do more to help Russia, and that if relations with the United States continue to deteriorate, they could do a lot more to enable Russia and help Russia in its war against Ukraine,” Torigian said, per AP News.

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