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Xi Jinping to Visit Russia and Address Ukraine Conflict

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit Russia next week in an apparent show of support for Vladimir Putin.[0] The Kremlin announced the news on Friday and said that during the talks, the two leaders will discuss “topical issues of further development of comprehensive partnership relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.”[1] A number of “important bilateral documents” will also be signed, according to the statement.[2]

The visit is a crucial one for China, as it attempts to project itself as a neutral peace broker in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.[3] Beijing has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and has instead called for negotiations and been careful to avoid violating international sanctions.[4] China also offered a 12-point peace plan for a political resolution of the conflict.[5]

The United States has cautiously welcomed the development, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan saying the US has been trying to convince Xi to speak with Zelensky.[6] Kyiv is reportedly hoping for a phone call with Xi, which Beijing has yet to grant.[7]

Meanwhile, the Pentagon recently released declassified footage of a Russian fighter jet harassing and colliding with an American drone over the Black Sea.[8] US experts say the harassment tactic has not been seen before, and the US has accused the Kremlin of approving the aggression.[9]

In a rare phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, China's foreign minister said Beijing is concerned about the year-old grinding conflict with Russia spinning out of control and urged talks on a political solution with Moscow.[2] The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said in a statement that Beijing “hopes that all parties will keep calm, exercise restraint, resume peace talks as soon as possible and return to the track of political settlement.”[0]

Xi's visit to Russia comes as U.S. ties with both China and Russia have been steadily deteriorating.[10] The Chinese president is also planning to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after his Moscow visit, their first interaction since the invasion.[11] [7]

0. “Xi will visit Putin in China's biggest show of support for Russia since the war in Ukraine began” Daily Mail, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11871419/Xi-visit-Putin-Chinas-biggest-support-Russia-war-Ukraine-began.html

1. “Xi Jinping's Trip To Meet Putin Could Spell Trouble for the U.S.” Newsweek, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/xi-jinping-trip-meet-putin-spell-trouble-us-ukraine-1788461

2. “China’s Xi Jinping to visit Russia next week, says Kremlin” Al Jazeera English, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/3/17/chinas-xi-jinping-to-visit-russia-next-week-says-kremlin

3. “China’s Xi to visit Putin in Moscow for first time since Russian invasion of Ukraine” The Hill, 17 Mar. 2023, https://thehill.com/policy/international/3904918-chinas-xi-to-visit-putin-in-moscow-for-first-time-since-russian-invasion-of-ukraine/

4. “China's leader Xi Jinping will meet with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Moscow next week” NPR, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/03/17/1164154995/chinas-xi-jinping-to-meet-vladimir-putin-in-moscow

5. “Chinese President Xi to push for end to Ukraine war in Moscow visit” UPI News, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2023/03/17/president-xi-moscow-visit-urge-peace/7341679040886/

6. “Opinion: Why Xi may finally be ready to talk to Zelensky” CNN, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/15/opinions/xi-zelensky-meeting-peace-war-russia-ghitis/index.html

7. “Xi Doubles Down On Putin In A Symbolic Moscow Trip With The Ukraine War In Focus” Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.rferl.org/a/china-russia-ukraine-war-zelenskiy-peace-deal-weapons/32322911.html

8. “Russia-Ukraine war at a glance: what we know on day 387 of the invasion” The Guardian, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/mar/17/russia-ukraine-war-at-a-glance-what-we-know-on-day-387-of-the-invasion

9. “Chinese leader Xi to visit Russia next week for talks with Putin” NBC News, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/china-xi-jinping-state-visit-russia-putin-war-ukraine-rcna75396

10. “China's Xi Jinping to visit Russia and meet with Putin” Business Insider, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/china-xi-jinping-visit-russia-vladimir-putin-ukraine-war-2023-3

11. “Xi confirms Russia trip as it emerges China is sending rifles to Putin's men” The Telegraph, 17 Mar. 2023, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/03/17/chinese-president-xi-jinping-meet-vladimir-putin-moscow

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