Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to visit Moscow for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — where the Communist Party leader is expected to urge his counterpart to refrain from using nuclear weapons.
The high-level meeting, which is expected to occur in the coming months, will be a part of a multi-party push for peace talks as Russia’s war in Ukraine reaches the one-year mark, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plan.
Jinping will use the talks to prevent the conflict from going nuclear, the sources said.
The meeting could possibly happen in late April or early May, when Russia celebrates its World War II victory over Germany, people familiar with the situation told the newspaper.
The report comes just days after US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken admitted the US is “very concerned that China’s considering providing lethal support to Russia” as it continues its ongoing invasion of its western neighbor.
Blinken wouldn’t elaborate on the kinds of support China was considering offering, but said Beijing is trying to “have it both ways.”
“Publicly, they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine. But privately, as I said, we’ve seen already over these past months the provision of nonlethal assistance that does go directly to aiding and abetting Russia’s war effort,” he added.
China’s top diplomat Wang Yi revealed details of his country’s intentions last week at the Munich Security Conference, where he announced China would issue a position paper on Ukraine this week, timing with the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Wang was scheduled to meet with Putin on Tuesday to discuss relations and “international and regional hot-spot issues of shared interest,” China’s Foreign Ministry said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at NATO headquarters Tuesday that he had met with Wang and learned key elements of China’s plan.
While Kyiv is waiting for the full text before responding, he said the plan must be based on the principle of territorial integrity.
“Because if any country helps Russia to destroy the territorial integrity of Ukraine, then the principle is undermined and the message is clear: Anyone else can do that in any other specific situation on the world map,” he told WSJ.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday warned that China supporting Russia’s war efforts could lead to World War III.
But Zelensky added that he sees an opportunity for China to make a “pragmatic assessment of what is happening.”
“Because if China allies itself with Russia, there will be a world war, and I do think that China is aware of that,” he said.
Beijing has resisted Western pressure to isolate Russia, with trade between the two nations spiking 34% in 2022.
China has emerged as a significant buyer of Russian gas and oil as sales in Western Europe have declined, according to the Wall Street Journal.
With Post Wires