The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting ready to travel to Moscow for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The daily said on Tuesday that the Xi-Putin encounter was a part of a Chinese effort to take a more active role in putting an end to the year-old war and part of a push for multi-party peace talks, citing sources familiar with the plan.
According to the article, China will also use the meeting to reaffirm its opposition to the use of nuclear weapons.
The Journal said that the trip’s planning is in its early stages and that the time has not been decided, adding that Xi’s visit might occur in April or early May, when Russia would be commemorating its triumph over Nazi Germany in World War Two.
Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, is now in Moscow and is scheduled to meet with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, on Wednesday.
Wang has intensified his efforts for a negotiated agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine, which started on February 24 of last year when Russian soldiers invaded the country. Wang is currently on a tour of Europe.
Last year, just days before Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Xi and Putin last had face-to-face contact in China before the Beijing Winter Olympics. No areas of cooperation were “forbidden” in their alliance, which they described as having “no limits.” In December of last year, they spoke via video call.
China has advised “restraint” and emphasized that disagreements should be resolved via “peaceful means,” but it has not denounced Russia’s actions or backed sanctions against Moscow led by the West.
In the meanwhile, tensions between China and the US have increased over matters like Hong Kong’s human rights situation and the situation in Xinjiang, in western China, as well as the US’s recent discovery of what it has called a Chinese “spy balloon” hovering over American land.
Wang reiterated the importance of the two nations’ tight relations on Tuesday in a meeting with Nikolai Patrushev, Putin’s close ally and secretary of Russia’s powerful Security Council.
Via a Russian interpreter, Wang said Patrushev, “Chinese-Russian relations are mature in character: they are rock solid and will withstand any test in a changing international situation.” These comments were broadcast on Russian state television.
Patrushev, meanwhile, informed Wang that maintaining ties with Beijing was a high priority for Russian foreign policy.
“In the context of a campaign that is being waged by the collective West to contain both Russia and China, the further deepening of Russian-Chinese cooperation and interaction in the international arena is of particular importance,” Patrushev was quoted as saying by state media outlet RIA.
When Xi is in Moscow, Wang is anticipated to talk about the trip, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Wang may also meet Putin, according to the Kremlin’s hints.