Chinese leader Xi Jinping is reportedly planning a visit to the Russian capital of Moscow, as the Ukraine war continues to rage on.
Xi, who is Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, reportedly plans to urge Russian President Vladimir Putin to seek peace with Ukraine, and commit to not using nuclear weapons, according the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) this week.
While the WSJ says that the preparations for the trip are still in the early stages, it is possible that Xi may visit in April or early May, around the anniversary of Russia’s victory against Germany in World War 2.
This week Russia was visited by China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, who reportedly discussed the potential visit by Xi with the Kremlin and pushed for a peace agreement between Russia and Ukraine.
“This warfare must not continue,” he said.
However, he emphasised that China maintained “strong” relations with Russia despite the geo-political turbulence of the war.
“China-Russia relations are strong and will withstand changes in the international environment,” he reportedly said.
MORE – China-Russia relations are strong and will withstand changes in the international environment, says China's top diplomat Wang Yi during his visit to Moscow today.
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) February 21, 2023
This was a re-iteration of remarks made by Yi in March of last year, a month after the war began, at which time he said that “Sino-Russian relations are strong enough,” adding that “there is no possibility of a breakup.”
At the time he emphasised that the relationship between the two countries was “as strong as stone.” However, he added that China would be willing to mediate between Russia and the international community to secure a peace agreement.
Last year Xi expressed concern that Putin was threatening nuclear attacks against Ukraine, with the Chinese leader saying that the international community should “jointly oppose the use of, or threats to use, nuclear weapons,”
He added that the world should “advocate that nuclear weapons cannot be used, a nuclear war cannot be waged, in order to prevent a nuclear crisis.”