World

Xi Jinping To Visit Russia As Biden Admin Downplays Diplomatic Efforts

(Photo by SERGEI BOBYLYOV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent
Font Size:

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government announced a visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) works to exert more diplomatic influence around the world.

Xi and Putin will have a one-on-one meeting over dinner Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday, followed by more formal talks involving other officials Tuesday. Putin advisor Yuri Usahkov said the meeting could alter Russia’s strategy for fighting its war in Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

China has largely claimed to be playing a neutral role in the conflict, publicly calling for a ceasefire last month as part of a position paper released by the CCP that some characterized as a “peace plan.” But the CCP has served as a key economic and diplomatic ally to Russia, resisting Western sanctions against Moscow and refusing to condemn Putin’s aggression as a “war” or “invasion,” modeling its rhetoric after the Kremlin’s with terms like “special military operation.”

The CCP declared last year that it has a “no limits” friendship with Russia. (RELATED: China Set To Spend Way More In One Area Than Biden After President Releases His Spending Plan)

Last week, China brokered a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia to re-establish diplomatic relations in what was seen as a diplomatic coup for Xi. The two Middle Eastern powers are set to re-establish embassies with each other and appoint ambassadors within two months after a seven-year period without formal relations. Iran also committed to no longer arming Houthi rebels in Yemen, officials said Thursday, signaling a potential end to one of the world’s deadliest conflicts.

The United States, which downplayed China’s role in the Saudi-Iran deal and has characterized China’s diplomatic efforts regarding Ukraine as unserious, warned Xi not to use the Putin meeting to push a ceasefire: “A ceasefire now is, again, effectively the ratification of Russian conquest,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Friday.