“Old Friend” Putin Comes to China for a State Visit and Summit with Xi Jinping - Latest Global News

“Old Friend” Putin Comes to China for a State Visit and Summit with Xi Jinping

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in China on a two-day state visit as the two countries look to further deepen ties that have grown closer since Moscow invaded Ukraine more than two years ago.

The visit comes days after Russia launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, making progress on the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front line where Kiev’s forces are being hit by delayed shipments of weapons and ammunition from the United States were disabled.

Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a “borderless” partnership between Russia and China a few days before Putin sent his troops to Ukraine in February 2022. In March 2023, when Xi visited Moscow, he described a “new era” in the two countries’ relations. While Putin was in Beijing for the last time in October, Xi spoke of the “deep friendship” between the two leaders that developed last year had scored 42 times in the decade.

China’s state news agency Xinhua confirmed Putin’s arrival as part of what Chinese media described as a state visit by an “old friend.”

Ahead of the trip, Putin, 71, said his choice of China as his first foreign destination since being sworn in as president for a fifth term underscored the “unprecedented level of strategic partnership” between the two countries and his close friendship with the 70-year-old. year Xi.

“We will try to build closer cooperation in the fields of industry and high technology, space and peaceful nuclear energy, artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources and other innovative sectors,” Putin told state news agency Xinhua.

The two leaders will attend a gala evening celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s recognition of the People’s Republic of China, declared by Mao Zedong after the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

Putin will also visit Harbin in northeastern China, a city with strong ties to Russia.

In his interview with

He said the proposals could form the basis for discussions and that Moscow was “open to dialogue on Ukraine.” He reiterated the long-held Russian position that “negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said any negotiations must include a restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.

Switzerland is convening a peace summit for Ukraine next June that will focus on the Kiev framework. At least 50 delegations have already confirmed their participation, but Russia has not been invited.

China claims to be neutral in the conflict but did not condemn Moscow for its invasion of a sovereign country.

Russia “useful” for China

The Kremlin said in a statement that during their talks this week, Putin and Xi Jinping will “hold a detailed discussion on the full range of issues related to the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation” and “identify new directions for the further development of cooperation between “Russia” and China.”

The two countries have made it clear that they want to reshape the international order in line with their own ideas about how the world should be.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserted on Tuesday that Moscow and Beijing play an “important balancing role in global affairs” and that Putin’s visit would “strengthen our joint work.”

Both countries are veto members of the United Nations Security Council alongside the USA, Great Britain and France.

“We should not underestimate Russia’s ‘usefulness’ as a borderless friend to China and Xi Jinping,” Sari Arho Havren, associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, said in an email to Al Jazeera. “Russia is a valuable partner when it comes to displacing the United States and transforming the world order into a situation that is equally favorable to China and Russia.” Russia also sees Taiwan as an integral part of China, and we have already speculated about the war scenario Indo-Pacific and whether Russia would get involved to support and join China in possible war efforts.”

Moscow is forging ever closer ties with Beijing, shifting most of its energy exports to China and importing high-tech components for its military industry from Chinese companies amid Western sanctions.

The two countries have also deepened their military ties by holding joint war games over the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea and organizing the training of ground troops on each other’s territory.

China has stepped up military activity around self-ruled Taiwan as the island prepares for the May 20 inauguration of William Lai Ching-te, who was elected president in January elections.

China claims the territory as its own and does not rule out the use of force to achieve its goal.

With reporting by Erin Hale in Taipei

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