Xi will meet Putin next week

The Kremlin confirmed Friday that Chinese dictator Xi Jinping long rumor The visit to Moscow for a meeting with Vladimir Putin will take place next week, starting with a one-on-one meeting and an “informal dinner” on Monday.

Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesman said Xi and Putin, along with a number of their underlings, would hold talks on a wide range of topics on Tuesday. Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, said Russia’s war in Ukraine would be one such topic.

“I am sure that our leader and the Chinese leader will exchange their assessments of the situation. We will see what ideas emerge after that,” Ushakov said.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Xi would present “an objective and fair position on the Ukraine crisis and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin scoffed at the idea that Xi and Putin are working to build an “alliance of evil” or an “alliance of autocracy”.

“The Sino-Russian relationship is built on the basis of no alliance, no confrontation and no targeting of a third party,” Wang said, apparently forgetting that half of this partnership is currently carrying out a brutal war of conquest against a sovereign nation with massive civilian casualties.

“The two countries always follow the path of partnership rather than alliance and dialogue rather than confrontation, and develop a new type of major-country relations characterized by mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation. “, Mr. Wang insisted.

Wang became evasive when asked about reports that China is supplying military equipment and “dual-use” items to Russia, saying that “Sino-Russian cooperation is totally above board” without addressing the specific allegations.

China has presented itself as the only possible peacemaker in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, to somewhat muted applause from Russia, whose representatives appear to be fight the urge to roll your eyes every time Chinese officials tout their nebulous “peace plan.”

THE BBC Friday was skeptical whether Xi Jinping really wanted the war in Ukraine to end:

Crucially, China has just emerged from a major diplomatic coup, having facilitated a deal for its Middle Eastern rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia to resume diplomatic ties.

However, some argue that its declared neutrality is a sham and that it is in Beijing’s geopolitical interest for the war to continue because Russia is doing its dirty work – preying on the West and consuming resources and energy. Western money.

China’s proposals called for peace negotiations and respect for national sovereignty. But the 12-point document does not specifically say that Russia must withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

THE FinancialTimes (FT) suggested that Xi could prove he is serious about negotiating peace by holding talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, something he has not done since the start of the Russian invasion.

A source said FT that Xi could “hold a videoconference with the Ukrainian president in the coming days”, and China has increased contacts with Ukraine at the ministerial level, including a meeting between foreign ministers Qin Gang and Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday.

Paul Haenle of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said FT that Xi would send a strong and unpleasant message if he did not are pushing hard for peace in Ukraine after China brokers a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“I think it’s getting harder and harder for China to convince the world that they’re sort of this neutral actor in Ukraine. So a trip from Xi Jinping to Moscow to see Putin at that time, on its own, would not be a good idea for China,” Haenle said.

Kuleba was not optimistic about Xi’s visit to Moscow, telling the BBC he suspected his aim was mainly to strengthen the Sino-Russian partnership and send the message that Putin still has powerful friends.

Kuleba said he discussed ‘the importance of the principle of territorial integrity’ during his call with Gang, which sounds like a polite way of saying Xi won’t go far as a peacemaker if he doesn’t get there to convince Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukrainian soil. .

The Biden administration, forced out of the way by Xi’s impending visit to Russia, could do little but criticize the things Xi and Putin shouldn’t be saying to each other.

On Friday, White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman John Kirby informed Xi to speak with Zelensky, told him to avoid “unilateral” proposals that disregard the Ukrainian perspective, and complained that an unconditional ceasefire would “effectively be the ratification of the Russian conquest”.

Kirby hoped that Xi would avoid ceasefire proposals that “in effect recognize Russia’s gains and its attempt to conquer neighboring territory by force, allowing Russian troops to continue to occupy sovereign Ukrainian territory.”

The NSC spokesman also warned that a ceasefire could give Russia a chance to regroup, reload and “relaunch attacks on Ukraine at a time of its choosing”.


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