Putin to visit China in October – media
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly accepted an invitation from China’s Xi Jinping to visit Beijing in October, picking up where the two presidents left off when the Chinese leader traveled to Moscow in March to forge closer ties, amid increasing tensions with the West over the Ukraine crisis.
Plans for Putin’s trip came to light on Monday, when Xi hosted a meeting with Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko. Xi told Matviyenko that he’s preparing for Putin to visit Beijing in October to participate in China’s Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, TASS reported on Tuesday, citing comments by Russian Federation Council Deputy Chairman Andrey Denisov.
Xi extended the invitation to Putin when he made his state visit to Moscow in March, at which the two leaders signed an agreement to bring the ties between their countries into a “new era” of cooperation. Matviyenko is visiting Beijing this week as part of a Federal Assembly delegation that met with Chinese lawmakers to work on implementation of the deals that Putin and Xi signed in March.
“We discussed many issues of Russian-Chinese interaction,” Matviyenko told reporters after Monday’s meeting with Xi. “Despite the new conditions that we all live in, I am convinced that China, as a very responsible, serious state, never adapts to anyone. Our relations are not subject to any conjuncture, any external political influence.” She added that neither Russia nor China will allow anyone to talk to them “in the language of force and threats.”
Xi told Matviyenko that Russia and China “carry important responsibilities for the development and progress of mankind.” He added, “China is willing to continue to work with Russia to promote the building of a prosperous, stable and fair world.”
China has resisted US pressure to join in the Western sanctions campaign against Moscow, maintaining neutrality over the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Xi proposed a 12-point blueprint to end the fighting in Ukraine in February, but US officials dismissed the plan, saying it would benefit only Russia.
Putin last visited China in February 2022, just weeks before launching Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine.
Washington’s top diplomat, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, criticized Xi in March for meeting with Putin, providing “diplomatic cover” after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant to arrest the Russian leader for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.