Report: Xi to Meet with Putin in Russia

March 13, 2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to travel to Russia to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin as soon as next week, Reuters reported Monday morning. 

Last month, China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, met with Putin in Moscow, where the two pledged to strengthen ties as Russia continues to wage its war against Ukraine. A Reuters source now says that Wang’s trip was to help prepare for Xi’s visit. 

In February of 2022 ahead of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China and Russia struck a “no limits” partnership while Putin was visiting Beijing for the opening of the Winter Olympics.

Last month U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “We have information that gives us concern that [the Chinese] are considering providing lethal support to Russia”—despite China’s neutral stance in the war. The U.S. has cautioned that there would be serious “consequences” should China go through with providing arms to Russia for its war in Ukraine. 

On February 24, marking one year since Russia invaded Ukraine, China’s Foreign Ministry in a vaguely worded proposal called for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine and for peace talks to resume.

On that same day, the U.S. announced a sweeping new round of sanctions against Russia that targeted  some 250 Russian firms, banks, manufacturers and individuals.

Xi has met with Putin face-to-face 39 times since becoming President, most recently in September during a summit in central Asia.

The report of Xi’s plan to travel to Russia has emerged amid heightened tensions between China and the U.S. 

The latest diplomatic strain between the two world powers follows the Pentagon’s downing of a Chinese spy balloon over South Carolinian waters after it had crossed the continental U.S., as well as increased U.S. military postures in Taiwan  and Japan.

China’s National People’s Congress appointed President Xi to a third five-year term on Friday, breaking with the country’s tradition of handing over power once a decade and likely setting him up to rule for life.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.



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