Putin Arrives China For State Visit, Summit With Xi Jinping

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has arrived in China for a two-day state visit, as the two countries consolidate moves to further deepen a relationship that has grown closer since Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2022.

Africa Today News, New York reports that the visit is coming barely days after Russia launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, and as it claims advances on the 1,000km (600-mile) long front line where Kyiv’s forces have been hampered by delayed deliveries of weapons and ammunitions from the United States.

Days before Putin maneuvered his soldiers into Ukraine in February 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “no limits” relationship between their countries. When Xi visited Moscow in March 2023, he spoke of a “new era” in the two nations’ relationship; conversely, when Putin visited Beijing in October of the same year, Xi spoke of a “deep friendship” between the two leaders, who had met 42 times in the previous ten years.

China’s state news agency Xinhua confirmed Putin’s arrival for what Chinese media have described as a state visit from an “old friend”.

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

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

Read Also: Putin Takes Oath For Record Fifth Presidential Term

The two leaders will take part in a gala evening celebrating 75 years since the Soviet Union recognised the People’s Republic of China, which was declared by Mao Zedong following the communists’ victory in China’s civil war in 1949.

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

In his interview with Xinhua, Putin also appeared to give his backing to a 12-point Ukraine peace plan that Beijing released to a lukewarm reception on the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2023.

He said the proposals could provide the basis for discussions and that Moscow was “open to a 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 Zelenskyy has 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.

Africa Today News, New York

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