Beijing/Moscow, March 20
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart and ally Vladimir Putin held crucial talks in Moscow on Monday amid concerted efforts by China to push for a peace deal to end the Ukraine war, weeks after Beijing successfully brokered a pact between Iran and Saudi Arabia to end their bitter rivalry.
Xi and Putin, who met over 40 times in the last 10 years to forge close ties to oppose the US-dominated world order, held talks hours after the Chinese leader arrived in Moscow for a three-day state visit to a “grand welcome”, official media on both sides reported.
In his arrival statement, Xi said, “Our two countries have consolidated and grown the bilateral relationship on the basis of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party, and set a fine example for developing a new model of major-country relations.” He said China would continue to work with Russia to safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, the international order and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
President Putin said Moscow had studied Beijing’s proposals for resolving the conflict in Ukraine and that he would discuss it at a meeting with President Xi. “We have thoroughly studied your proposals for resolving the acute crisis in Ukraine,” Putin said, addressing the Chinese leader at a meeting on Monday. He noted that China was taking a “fair and balanced position on most pressing international problems”.
Significantly, as Xi arrived in Moscow becoming the first world leader to meet Putin after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against the Russian leader accusing him of committing war crimes in Ukraine, Beijing strongly criticised the court accusing it of double standards.
Focus on concerns of all stakeholders
- After brokering Iran-Saudi pact, Xi now focuses on Ukraine to enhance China’s role in global diplomacy
- Xi insists his plan takes into account legitimate concerns of all stakeholders
- Putin said Moscow studied Beijing’s proposals and he would discuss these with Xi
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