Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to visit Russia as soon as next week, the news agency Reuters reported on Monday (March 13) quoting people familiar with the matter. The development comes as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war continues to escalate over the eastern city of Bakhmut.
The visit would be would come sooner than previously expected as The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Xi’s visit to Moscow could take place in April or early May.
The crucial visit will be followed by China’s recently floated peace plans to end the Ukraine war, which has led to a massive global crisis.
China last month said that it hopes to play a constructive role in resolving the geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine and came up with the so-called “peace plan” in the form of a 12-point foreign ministry paper. Beijing aims at gradual de-escalation between the warring nations.
Neither China’s foreign ministry nor the Kremlin confirmed the news. As reported by the news agency, the sources briefed on the matter declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the issue.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin last month hosted China’s top diplomat Wang Yi on a visit to Moscow. Wang had signaled that Xi would travel to Russia.
The reports regarding Xi’s prospected visit came days after he secured a third term as China’s leader.
Xi was unanimously confirmed in a precedent-breaking third term as president during the annual session of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has already publicly invited Xi to Moscow without specifying a date, would be likely to portray it as a show of support for Russia’s war on Ukraine.
(With inputs from agencies)
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