China’s Xi meeting with Putin is a boost for Russia’s lonely leader

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China President Xi Jinping is schedule to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, providing a political boost to the isolate Russian leader after the International Criminal Court accuse him with war crimes in Ukraine.China President Xi Jinping is schedule to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, providing a political boost to the isolated Russian leader after the International Criminal Court accused him with war crimes in Ukraine.

The Chinese government provided no clues about what Xi planned to achieve. Before last February’s war on Ukraine, Xi and Putin pledged a “no limits friendship,” but China has tried to present itself as impartial. Beijing called for a cease-fire last month, but Washington indicated it would confirm the Kremlin’s battlefield successes.

The Chinese authorities announced that Xi would visit Moscow from Monday to Wednesday but did not specify when he would leave. The Russian official stated that Xi would arrive at lunchtime and meet with Putin later.

China sees Russia as a source of oil and gas for its energy-hungry economy, as well as a partner in challenging US dominance in global affairs.

According to Joseph Torigian, a specialist on Chinese-Russian relations at American University in Washington, the meeting allows Putin and Xi to demonstrate that they have “strong partners” at a time when relations with Washington are strain.

“China can signal that it could do even more to help Russia, and that if relations with the US deteriorate more, they might do a lot more to enable and help Russia in its war against Ukraine,” Torigian added.

Disputes over technology, security, human rights, and the ruling Communist Party’s treatment of Hong Kong and Muslim minorities have strained Beijing’s relations with America, Europe, and its neighbours.

Some observers see a connection between Russia’s claims to Ukraine territory and Beijing’s claim to Taiwan. According to the Communist Party, the self-rule island democracy, which broke away from China in 1949 following a civil war, is obligate to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary. Xi’s government has up its efforts to frighten the island by flying fighter jets close by and firing missiles into the water.

China has increased its purchases of Russian oil and gas, which has helped to supplement the Kremlin’s revenue in the face of Western sanctions. Beijing appears to have mostly heeded US cautions not to provide military assistance.

The gathering this week follows the ICC’s conclusion on Friday that Putin is personally responsible for the abductions of thousands of Ukrainian children.

Countries that acknowledge the court’s authority would be require to arrest Putin if he visited. Putin has yet to respond to the revelation, but the Kremlin has called it “outrageous and intolerable.”

In a show of defiance, Putin visited Crimea and the occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol over the weekend to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Russia’s acquisition of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. According to Russian media, he spoke with Mariupol citizens and visited an art school and a children’s facility in Sevastopol, Crimea.

In a piece published Monday in the Russian publication Russian Gazette, Xi stated that China has “actively encouraged peace discussions” but has made no announcements.

“My next visit to Russia will be a trip of friendship, collaboration, and peace,” Xi wrote, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

“All sides accept the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security,” Xi stated, and “a fair means to resolve the situation” may be found.

The trip follows the unexpected news of a diplomatic thaw between Iran and Saudi Arabia following a meeting in Beijing, which Xi’s leadership regards as a diplomatic coup.

According to Torigian, Xi wants to be seen as a global statesman who is “playing a helpful role” by talking about peace, but he is unlikely to persuade Putin to halt the war.

China is concern about “possible Russian battlefield casualties,” but does not want to be regarded as “enabling Russia’s aggression,” according to Torigian.

“They won’t invest political capital” on urging Moscow to make peace, “particularly if they don’t think it will win them anything,” he said.

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