Xi confirms Russian visit as China sends rifles to Putin’s men revealed
Chinese President Xi Jinping embarks on a three-day trip to Moscow to demonstrate his support for Vladimir Putin.
The rumored visit was officially confirmed by China’s foreign ministry on Friday. Russia said the Chinese president was visiting at Mr Putin’s invitation.
The Kremlin said Mr Putin will hold a one-on-one meeting with his Chinese counterpart on Monday, followed by further negotiations on Tuesday, followed by a statement to the press.
Xi is also reportedly planning to call Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after his first visit to Moscow since the invasion.
China has claimed to remain neutral in the dispute and has called for a ceasefire without offering any concrete proposals on how to resolve it.
The Chinese government has even offered to mediate peace talks, but the West doubts China’s credibility and impartiality. “Endless” friendship with Putin.
A Politico report based on customs data from the second half of last year revealed Friday that Chinese firms, including state-owned defense contractors, are sending assault rifles, drone parts and body armor to Russia.
Some of the items shipped from China are civilian items that may be used for military purposes.
Beijing has refrained from criticizing Mr Putin, calling the war the “Ukrainian crisis” rather than “aggression”.
In a 12-point “political solution” statement issued on the first anniversary of the end of the war, China called for an end to Western sanctions against Russia and the acquisition of nuclear facilities.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Chinese companies for providing goods and services it said were supporting Russian operations in Ukraine.
A Chinese space satellite company has been blacklisted for providing imagery over Ukraine, and a group of companies has been sanctioned for supplying parts to Iranian drones used by Russia.
Xi’s visit to Russia follows a series of separate phone calls between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleva and US Secretary of State Antony Brinken and Chinese Secretary of State Qin Gang.
Kremlin insiders say Putin’s outlook has changed in recent weeks, with Russia’s leader looking more relaxed and upbeat than in recent months.
Six months earlier, Putin had watched from the Kremlin as the Russian military appeared to be on the brink of embarrassing collapse in Ukraine. I was forced to make a public apology.
But Putin joked yesterday during a two-hour speech and question-and-answer session with Russian oligarchs.
“Putin used to joke at this business meeting. Commentator Sergei Markov said. “That’s why Putin joked hilariously and billionaires laughed hilariously. They survived.”
The Kremlin-affiliated news agency TASS published a photo of Mr Putin grinning while several of Russia’s richest people laughed and clapped.
Mr Putin got the biggest laughs when he appeared to make fun of the shortage of tomatoes in British supermarkets.
“We offered to help them switch from tomato salad to turnips. Good product. But our yields are well ahead of Europe,” he said. “Without our manure, it would be difficult for them to match us.”