Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announced that President Xi will pay an official visit to Moscow on March 20-22 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the statement made by the Kremlin Palace, it was confirmed that Xi will visit the country, and it was stated that “the relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China will be discussed” in the meeting between Putin and Xi.
In the statement, it was stated that the two leaders will also exchange views on the deepening of cooperation in the international arena, and that “some important documents will be signed”.
Xi is visiting Russia for the first time since the start of the Russo-Ukrainian War. It was noteworthy that the visit coincided with the period when China’s stance in the Russia-Ukraine War was discussed and it got closer with Russia in the geopolitical rivalry with the USA.
After the start of the Russia-Ukraine War, China avoided using the words “war” and “occupation” and was among the few countries that did not condemn Moscow by abstaining from the votes of the United Nations General Assembly.
Although the Beijing administration did not participate in international sanctions against Russia after the war, it largely complied with the framework of the sanctions so as not to harm its economic relations with the United States and Europe.
China, on the other hand, had profited from the shifting trade as sanctions curtailed trade between Europe and Russia. It was observed that the trade volume between the two countries increased, especially in the field of energy.
While the US recently warned China not to provide arms support to Russia in the war, Beijing and Moscow continued their military cooperation, including joint military exercises, although there was no direct arms sale.
Prior to Xi’s visit, China’s most senior diplomat, Wang Yi, Director of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Central Foreign Relations Commission, visited Moscow last month, approaching the anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine War.
On February 24, the anniversary of the war, China announced a 12-item “attitude document” containing its proposals for a political solution to the crisis. It was emphasized in the document that the sovereignty of countries should be respected, legitimate security concerns should be taken into account, unilateral sanctions should be ended, and a ceasefire should be achieved by gradually reducing tensions.
The ceasefire proposal was not accepted by the USA and the European Union, as well as by Ukraine, who perceived the proposal as an indoctrination to accept the de facto situation. The Kiev administration stated that a peace under these conditions would mean “freezing the war”.
Russia also stated that it attaches importance to China’s opinion, but that the necessary conditions for the transition to the path of peace in the solution of the Ukraine issue are not formed in the current conditions.