Chinese Foreign Minister Visits Russia to Lay Groundwork for Putin’s Visit to China

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Russia is expected to lay the groundwork for President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming visit to China, according to Russian media reports. The visit comes as Russia seeks continued support for its actions in Ukraine. After a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Wang stressed the need to consider Russia’s interests in resolving the conflict. While China is believed to be indirectly supporting Russia in the war, it denies such claims. The meeting between Wang and Lavrov follows Putin’s recent meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, raising concerns that the two countries could engage in an arms deal. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Wang’s visit is aimed at strategic and security consultations. The meeting discussed the war in Ukraine and emphasized the importance of Russia’s participation in resolving the crisis. China had previously presented its own peace plan for Ukraine earlier this year, indicating its desire to end the conflict and restore relations with Europe. However, China is also sympathetic towards Russia, highlighting the challenge of separating responsibility for the war from the desired outcome. The United States has accused China of economically supporting Russia and supplying key technologies during the war. China has consistently denied these claims, maintaining an objective stance on the conflict. Meanwhile, President Putin expressed his eagerness to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, with speculation that the meeting could take place at the Belt and Road Forum next month. Putin has not left Russia since an arrest warrant was issued against him by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Ukraine. Experts suggest that China’s support for Russia is a legitimate way to involve Russia in discussions without worsening relations with Europe. Additionally, Wang’s visit coincides with Kim’s visit to Russia, which concluded with the exchange of gifts and discussions on military cooperation. While the US believes the visit was intended to discuss arms sales, China has refrained from commenting on the matter. China’s close ties with both Russia and North Korea suggest that any joint support between the two countries would likely have been known to or tacitly approved by China. Experts believe that China may view North Korea as a useful agent in assisting Russia in the war in Ukraine. Prior to his visit to Russia, Wang met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Malta to discuss regional security, the war in Ukraine, and US-China relations. However, it is unlikely that China will heed any US pressure to end its cooperation with Russia.

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Russian media reported that Wang’s visit will lay the groundwork for President Vladimir Putin’s monumental visit to China.

Correspondent Tessa Wong, BBC News

6 hours ago

As Russia seeks continued support for the war in Ukraine, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Russia on the 18th (local time).

After the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Wang said, “Any attempt to resolve the war issue must consider Russia’s interests.”

China, which is a close ally of Russia, is suspected of indirectly supporting Russia during this war, but it denies this.

Russian media reported that Director Wang’s visit will soon be followed by President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China.

This meeting took place after President Putin previously met with Chairman Kim Jong-un. The United States is concerned that the meeting between the leaders of North Korea and Russia could lead to an arms deal between the two countries.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that Director Wang would stay in Russia for four days for “strategic and security consultations.”

After the meeting on the 18th, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Minister Lavrov and Wang discussed the war in Ukraine and “noted that efforts to resolve the crisis without taking into account Russia’s interests, especially Russia’s participation, are meaningless.”

China presented its own Ukraine peace plan early this year, when Wang visited Russia and participated in various diplomacy activities, including a meeting with President Putin.

Laurie Daniels, executive director of the Asia Policy Institute, said that China also wants the war to end in order to restore relations with Europe, but on the other hand, it sympathizes with Russia, so “it’s a matter of deciding who responsible that war should be separated from the outcome.” “I want to have it,” he analyzed.

Meanwhile, since the Ukraine war began, China has been suspected by the United States of supporting Russia economically and supplying key technologies.

A US intelligence report released last July noted that China is “pursuing a range of economic support for Russia to mitigate the impact of Western sanctions and export controls (against Russia).”

The report also referred to China’s increasing imports of Russian energy, increased use of the ruble in transactions with Russia, and a “possible” supply of dual technologies that could be used for civilian and military purposes, such as drones.

China continues to deny these claims, while insisting that it maintains an objective stance on the war.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, President Putin said he was looking forward to meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping, but did not specify when, raising speculation that the two leaders are likely to meet at the ‘Belt and Road Forum’ ‘ which will be held next month.

President Putin has not left Russia since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant in connection with war crimes in Ukraine last March. The last time President Putin set foot on foreign soil was in December last year, when he visited Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.

Managing Director Daniels said, “From China’s point of view, inviting President Putin is a way of showing support for Russia, but in order to avoid worsening relations with Europe, China’s support for Russia is a legitimate way of bringing Russia into the discussion board.” “It should be seen as an attempt frame,” he analyzed.

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Minister Lavrov and Director Wang held a meeting on the war in Ukraine in Russia on the 18th.

Meanwhile, Director Wang’s visit to Russia took place as Chairman Kim’s internationally controversial visit to Russia came to an end.

According to Russian media, Chairman Kim returned home on the same day (18th) with gifts such as a Russian rifle, astronaut gloves, a bulletproof vest, a fur hat, and a military drone.

The United States claims that Chairman Kim’s visit was intended to discuss the sale of North Korean weapons to Russia. It is known that Russia currently has a shortage of arms and ammunition.

Russia and North Korea said only that they had talked about “military cooperation” and support for North Korea’s satellite program.

When asked about Chairman Kim’s visit to Russia last week, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeared reluctant to comment, saying it was “a matter between the two countries.”

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Chairman Kim went to Pyongyang bearing gifts including a Russian fur hat.

However, given that China maintains close ties with Russia and North Korea, some experts believe that any joint North Korea-Russia support is already known to China or even carried out with China’s tacit consent.

The relationship between these countries now goes beyond a shared socialist ideology or a common distrust of the US and the West. Trade with China has long been a lifeline for the North Korean economy, and China has also been a lifeline for the Russian economy by increasing its purchases of Russian oil and natural gas since last year.

“Whatever happens to Russia and North Korea cannot happen without China knowing,” said Alexander Korolev, an expert on China-Russia relations at the University of New South Wales in Australia. approval.” he explained.

Korolev explains that China might even consider North Korea as a useful agent to help Russia in the war in Ukraine.

Korolev said, “Only by allowing North Korea to engage in military cooperation with Russia, China can help Russia without worrying too much about its own reputation.”[그 행동이] Shouldn’t they just blame the rogue North Korean regime, which has nothing to do with them? “If you really completed this calculation, it was a smart move,” he said.

Meanwhile, Director Wang met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Malta a day before going to Russia. According to a later statement released by the United States and China, discussions continued on regional security and the war in Ukraine as well as relations between the United States and China.

Korolev said the United States may be talking to China to pressure North Korea to end any cooperation with Russia, but that China is unlikely to listen.

The explanation is that “if China had followed the US approach, it would have had a year to stop the war in the first place,” but China did not.

Additional reporting: BBC Monitoring Correspondent Yvgeny Pudovkin

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