Putin Visits China to Strengthen Partnership
Deepening Trust and Collaboration
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing for a highly anticipated meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. This visit aims to showcase the strong and cooperative relationship between the two neighboring countries. The leaders are determined to emphasize their deep mutual trust and “no-limits” partnership.
A Significant Trip for Putin
Putin’s arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport marked his first official trip outside the former Soviet Union this year. His international travel has been limited due to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March. The warrant accuses him of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. Although Putin visited Kyrgyzstan earlier this month, neither Kyrgyzstan nor China are ICC members and are therefore not obligated to arrest him.
A Close Friendship
Xi and Putin are known to have a close relationship, referring to each other as “dear friends.” They last met in Moscow shortly after the ICC issued the arrest warrant. During that meeting, Xi invited Putin to attend the third Belt and Road forum in Beijing, an international cooperation forum championed by the Chinese leader. Their upcoming meeting on Wednesday will further strengthen their bond.
China’s Defense of the Partnership
Despite Western criticism and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, China continues to support its partnership with Russia. China insists that their collaboration does not violate international norms and asserts its right to cooperate with any country it chooses.
The Belt and Road Initiative
The focus of the ongoing Belt and Road Forum is the Belt and Road initiative, a grand plan launched by Xi a decade ago. This initiative aims to build global infrastructure and energy networks connecting Asia with Africa and Europe through overland and maritime routes. Putin has praised this initiative, highlighting its role as a platform for international cooperation.
Russia and China have strengthened their energy ties, particularly in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia exports a significant amount of oil to China, and they are exploring the possibility of building a second pipeline. However, no new energy deals are expected during Putin’s visit.
The trip is not a full bilateral visit but rather an opportunity for Putin and Xi to meet on the sidelines of an international conference. The visit signifies the importance of their partnership and their commitment to further cooperation.