Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is to visit Russia from Monday to Wednesday, an apparent show of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin amid sharpening tensions with the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the latest sign of Beijing’s emboldened diplomatic ambitions.
The Ukraine war is expected to dominate Putin and Xi’s discussions.
China has refused to condemn Moscow’s aggression and sought to project itself as neutral in the conflict, even while Beijing last year declared that it had a “no-limits” friendship with Russia.
China and Russia yesterday announced Xi’s trip to Moscow, shortly after Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Qin Gang (秦剛) held a teleconference with Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, telling him that China has “always upheld an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue.”
Xi’s visit is expected to offer a diplomatic shot in the arm for Putin, as Western leaders have sought to isolate him over the war.
China’s refusal to condemn Russia while denouncing Western sanctions and accusing NATO and the US of provoking Putin’s military action has irked Washington as it competes with Beijing for influence.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin and Xi would have a one-on-one meeting over an informal dinner on Monday, while broader talks involving officials from both countries are scheduled for Tuesday.
Peskov did not provide details about the discussions.
During the war in Ukraine, China has said the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected.
However, it remains unclear whether its position is intended to position China as a neutral peacemaker or suggests Beijing sympathizes with Moscow’s claims to seized Ukrainian territory.
Ukraine has listed Russia’s withdrawal from the occupied areas as the main condition for peace.
After the call with Qin, Kuleba wrote on Twitter: “I underscored the importance of [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s] peace formula for ending the aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine.”
Kuleba later in the day spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Beijing’s apparent deeper dive into Ukraine issues follows its success in brokering talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Last week, the two countries agreed to restore their diplomatic ties after years of tensions.
The agreement cast China in a leading role in Middle Eastern politics, a part previously reserved for long-time global heavyweights such as the US.
On the back of the Iran-Saudi Arabia deal, Xi called for China to play a bigger role in managing global affairs.
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel