China’s leader Xi Jinping is planning to travel to Russia in an apparent show of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Chinese Communist Party announced that Xi will visit Russia from Monday to Wednesday.
The move comes as a declaration of support for Putin as he faces global pressure to end the invasion of Ukraine.
The Kremlin confirmed the visit, saying it will take place “at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.”
According to Moscow, Xi and Putin will discuss “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China.”
The meeting between to the two world leaders will help strengthen “Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena,” the Kremlin added.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman tweeted Friday that “This will be a trip for friendship and peace.”
“China will uphold an objective and fair position on the Ukraine crisis and play a constructive role in promoting talks for peace,” the statement added.
China has been resolute to act in its own interest while most of the world has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which passed the one-year mark last month.
Xi has refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion but has called for a peaceful resolution.
China has also called for the international community to recognize and respect the sovereignty of Russia’s rule over its territory, which Russia has claimed includes parts of Ukraine.
Beijing has repeatedly condemned the United States and NATO for provoking Russia.
Putin invited Xi to visit Russia in late December.
Putin said the visit could “demonstrate to the whole world the strength of the Russian-Chinese ties” and “become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.”
On Thursday, China’s foreign minister Qin Gang called his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba.
He told Kuleba that China has “always upheld an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue, has committed itself to promote peace and advancing negotiations and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks.”
President Xi said he also intends to speak with Ukrainian President Zelensky after meeting with Putin.
The call would be the first time Zelensky and Xi have spoken since Putin first invaded Ukraine.
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