Putin in China: Xi Jinping welcomes the Russian president

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as he began a two-day state visit. A new attack In Ukraine, it underscores the close relationship between autocratic leaders.

Following Putin’s dawn, Xi was greeted with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People, the grand seat of the ceremonial legislature that sits on Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital, Beijing.

At their next meeting, Xi congratulated Putin on his election Fifth term in office It celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China after they came to power in 1949 in a civil war. Putin faces no credible opposition in the presidential race, and, like Xi, neither. Make any plans for potential successors.

Xi said the two countries were developing their relationship as “good neighbors, good friends, good partners,” according to state broadcaster CCTV, echoing their commitment to a “no limits” relationship that Russia will sign in full by 2022. Invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has become economically dependent on China as Western sanctions cut access to much of the international trading system.

Ahead of the trip, Putin said in an interview with Chinese media that the Kremlin was ready to hold talks on the conflict in Ukraine. “We are ready for dialogue on Ukraine, but such talks must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including our country,” Putin was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency.

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The Russian leader’s trip comes as his country’s forces press an offensive in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, which began in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began last week, forcing nearly 8,000 people to flee their homes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin presides with members of his new cabinet at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

Russian President Vladimir Putin presides with members of his new cabinet at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during refreshments at a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, May 6, 2024.  Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his regime is ready for talks on the conflict in Ukraine.  A media visit to Beijing, an ally that backed Moscow in a full-scale invasion of its neighbor.  (AP, File via Ludovic Marin, Poole)

FILE – Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during refreshments at a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Monday, May 6, 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his regime is ready for talks on the conflict in Ukraine. A media visit to Beijing, an ally that backed Moscow in a full-scale invasion of its neighbor. (AP, File via Ludovic Marin, Poole)

The 2-year war has entered a critical phase for Ukraine’s battered military, with Moscow’s efforts to build on its gains in the nearby Donetsk region. Waiting for new items Anti-aircraft missiles and artillery shells from the US.

“We have never refused to negotiate,” Putin said, according to Xinhua. “We want a comprehensive, stable and fair solution to this conflict by peaceful means. We are ready for dialogue on Ukraine, but such talks must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity would include the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a trial for those responsible for the aggression, and security guarantees for Ukraine.

China says it takes a neutral stance in the conflict, but has backed Moscow’s claims that Russia was provoked by the West into attacking Ukraine, despite Putin publicly avowing his attack on Russia’s century-old borders.

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Putin blamed the West for the failure of talks in the early weeks of the war and praised China’s peace plan for Ukraine, which would allow Moscow to consolidate its territorial gains.

“Beijing proposes practical and constructive measures to achieve peace by minimizing the negative impact of the conflict on the global economy and avoiding the continued escalation of vested interests and tensions,” he said.

A Chinese proposal rejected by Ukraine and the West in 2023 could “lay the foundation for a political and diplomatic process that takes into account Russia’s security concerns and contributes to achieving long-term and stable peace,” Putin said.

The Kremlin said in a statement that during their talks this week, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping will “discuss in detail a full range of issues related to comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation, and determine new directions for further development of cooperation.” Russia and China and there is extensive exchange of views on the most pressing international and regional issues.

Speaking in the upper house of the Russian parliament on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow and Beijing were “objectively interested in maintaining our lead in efforts to establish a more just and democratic world order”.

“Russia and China are not alone in their efforts to reform an international system and establish a multilateral global order,” he said.

“The duet of Moscow and Beijing plays an important balancing role in world affairs,” Lavrov noted, adding that “the upcoming visit of the Russian president (to China) will strengthen our joint work.”

Moscow has developed increasingly close ties with Beijing. As the war dragged on for a third year, it has diverted most of its energy exports to China and relied on Chinese companies to import high-tech components for Russian military industries to avoid Western sanctions.

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Russia-China military ties have also strengthened. They have held a series of joint war games in recent years, including naval exercises and patrols by long-range bombers over the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea. Russian and Chinese ground forces have also been sent to the other country’s border for joint exercises.

China remains a key market for the Russian military, while vastly expanding its domestic defense industries, including building aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

Putin has previously said that Russia shares highly sensitive military technologies with China, which has helped it significantly increase its defense capabilities. In October 2019, he indicated that Russia was helping China develop an early warning system to detect ballistic missile launches — a system that included ground-based radar and satellites that only Russia and the United States possessed.

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Bodeen reports from Taipei.

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