China’s Xi Visits Russia’s Putin After War Crimes Indictment
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING, CHINA (Worthy News) – China’s President Xi Jinping is on his first trip to Russia since the country invaded Ukraine last year, with Moscow hoping the visit gives a diplomatic boost to President Vladimir Putin, who is building an anti-Western bloc.
Commentators observed that Xi would be the first world leader to shake Putin’s hand since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him for alleged war crimes.
The ICC specifically mentioned the deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the war, while investigations are also underway related to massacres and other atrocities.
Neither Moscow nor Beijing are members of the ICC, whose action the Kremlin said was “outrageous” and illegal.
But by making Putin a wanted man in 123 countries on the eve of Xi’s trip, starting Monday, the court put the Chinese leader in a challenging position, commentators said.
Xi’s talks with Putin come as Russia’s army struggles in Ukraine, and the United States warns China against supplying Moscow with weapons.
President Xi once called President Putin his “best friend” as both authoritarian leaders embraced the idea of a “multi-polar world” devoid of what they view as U.S. domination.
Moscow expects to sign an agreement on “deepening the comprehensive partnership” between their two countries, which could include military support despite Western concerns.
“Putin is building his own bloc. He doesn’t trust the West anymore – and he never will again,” said journalist Dmitry Muratov, a former Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in published remarks.
“So, Putin’s looking for allies and trying to make Russia part of a common fortress with China, as well as with India, some parts of Latin America, and Africa. Putin is building his anti-Western world.”
In remarks to a Chinese newspaper, published on the Kremlin website late Sunday, Putin said he had high hopes for the visit by his “good old friend” Xi, with whom he signed a “no limits” strategic partnership last year.
He also welcomed China’s willingness to mediate in the conflict. “We are grateful for the balanced line of (China) in connection with the events taking place in Ukraine, for understanding their background and true causes. We welcome China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis,” Putin said.
China has published a 12-point paper calling for dialogue and a peace settlement in Ukraine, but critics noted only general statements and no concrete proposal for how to end the year-long war.
Ukraine cautiously welcomed the Chinese proposal, but Kyiv said any settlement would require Russia to withdraw from all the territory it has seized, including the Crimean peninsula it annexed in 2014.
Moscow has so far refused to comply.
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