China’s Xi Jinping Arrives in Moscow for State Visit, Putin Talks

China's President Xi Jinping walks past honour guards during a welcoming ceremony at
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Chinese Communist Party supremo and national leader Xi Jinping landed in Moscow on an Air China Boeing 747 on Monday afternoon, state media says, kicking off a state visit amid Ukraine war tension.

Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow Monday afternoon local time, commencing a long-discussed potential state visit to Russia by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) frontman amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, and even a presently-unenforceable arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin issued by the International Criminal Court.

The CCP leader arrived in Moscow aboard an Air China Boeing 747 and will be in the country for two days. As the Kremlin’s wire news service TASS reports, a Hongqi-made Chinese limousine was waiting for the arrival of President Xi at the airport, from where he was taken to have talks with President Putin.

The Kremlin says the talks are due to last until tomorrow, with a state spokesman saying the visit was less about pomp and pageantry, and more about talk. TASS reports the spokesman as saying: “there will be no additional protocol stuff, the main thing is negotiations, negotiations and negotiations.” Whatever is discussed, the visit is a demonstration by the Russian state that despite the Western sanctions regime, the country still has powerful allies on the world stage.

As reported ahead of the visit, Russia’s prosecution of the war in Ukraine will be a key matter of discussion, with industrial giant China even trying to portray itself as a possible broker of peace. What this peace would look like is an open question, especially given the degree to which China’s economy is being buoyed by massive imports of cheap Russian energy. Russia has benefitted from the income these sales have generated.

Preparing for this week’s summit between Xi and Putin, the Kremlin said: “I’m sure that our leader and the Chinese leader will exchange their assessments of the situation. We shall see what ideas will emerge after that. The Chinese foreign ministry said Xi would make “an objective and fair position on the Ukraine crisis and play a constructive role in promoting talks for peace.”

The Guardian reports:

Xi Jinping said China was ready with Russia “to stand guard over the world order based on international law” as he landed in Moscow for a state visit days after Vladimir Putin was made the subject of an arrest warrant by the international criminal court.

Ukraine itself, invaded by Russia in progressive waves over the past nine years and particularly since 2022, has rejected peace talks, with negotiation and compromise inevitably meaning a permanent loss of territory in return for a cesation of hostilities. Earlier this year, Ukraine’s Zelensky said he was not interested in talks with Russia, and Ukraine spokesmen have made clear “justice” is now a priority, with “Our tanks will be on Red Square” discussed.

China’s President Xi Jinping waves as he disembarks off his aircraft upon arrival at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport on March 20, 2023. – Chinese leader arrived in Moscow on Monday saying his first state visit to Russia since the Ukraine conflict broke out would give “new momentum” to bilateral ties. (Photo by Anatoliy ZHDANOV / Kommersant Photo / AFP) / Russia OUT (Photo by ANATOLIY ZHDANOV/Kommersant Photo/AFP via Getty Images)


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