Putin Praises Xi in Show of Unity

Russian leader hails Xi's efforts to 'regulate' the 'situation in Ukraine'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 16, 2024 7:33 AM CDT
Xi, Putin Reaffirm 'No Limits' Partnership
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend an official welcome ceremony in Beijing, China, on Thursday, May 16, 2024.   (Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

China's leader Xi Jinping welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as he began a two-day state visit. Putin thanked Xi for his effort to resolve the Ukraine conflict at a Beijing summit, where the two leaders reaffirmed a "no-limits" partnership that has grown deeper as both countries face deepening tensions with the west. More, from the AP:

  • Putin's visit to one of his strongest allies comes as his country's forces are pressing an offensive in northeastern Ukraine's Kharkiv region in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began in 2022.

  • While both leaders said they were seeking an end to the war in Ukraine, they offered no new specifics in their public remarks Thursday afternoon. China has significant influence as a key supporter of Russia in its invasion. The country claims to take a neutral position in the conflict, but it has backed Moscow's contentions that Russia was provoked into attacking Ukraine by the West, and continues to supply Russia with key components that Moscow needs for its production of weapons.
  • China proposed a broadly worded peace plan in 2023, but it was rejected by both Ukraine and the West for failing to call for Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine. "China hopes for the early return of Europe to peace and stability and will continue to play a constructive role toward this," Xi said Thursday, speaking alongside Putin.
  • Putin said he will inform the Chinese leader in detail about "the situation in Ukraine," and said "we appreciate the initiative of our Chinese colleagues and friends to regulate the situation."

  • The meeting was yet another affirmation of the friendly relationship they signed in 2022, just before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. Since then, Russia has become increasingly economically dependent on China as Western sanctions cut its access to much of the international trading system. China's increased trade with Russia, totaling $240 billion last year, has helped the country mitigate some of the worst blowback from sanctions.
  • In their meeting, Xi congratulated Putin on his election to a fifth term in office and celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations forged between the former Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China.
(More China stories.)

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