During a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday, Chinese president Xi Jinping said he was ready to ‘stand guard over a world order based on international law’.
The Chinese leader spent more than four hours in talks with his ‘dear friend‘ Putin, discussing proposals to end the war previously outlined in a 12-point Ukraine peace plan.
‘We are always open to negotiations,’ Putin said, welcoming China’s plan to settle his ‘acute crisis’ in Ukraine.
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The Mail Online reports: Xi, who descended a red-carpeted set of steps at Moscow’s Vnunkovo airport serenaded by a military band, hailed his ‘close ties’ with Russia as Putin said the two countries had ‘plenty of common objectives and tasks’. The Chinese premier expects his time there to prove ‘fruitful’.
Presented as a ‘journey of friendship, cooperation and peace’, the summit marks the deepening of ties between China and an increasingly isolated Russia, who have relied on Beijing to soften the impact of western sanctions by buying Russian energy and commodities.
The leaders are set to meet again tomorrow for more formal talks. A Kremlin spokesman said tonight: ‘The conversation is still going on.’
The United States today said that Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia – which came just days after Vladimir Putin was charged with war crimes in Ukraine – suggests that China does not believe the Russian despot should be held accountable for the atrocities.
In a scathing speech, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken also voiced scepticism over Xi’s ‘peace’ proposals aimed at ending the war in Ukraine, warning they could be a ‘stalling tactic’ to help Russian troops on the ground.
‘The world should not be fooled by any tactical move by Russia, supported by China or any other country, to freeze the war on its own terms,’ Blinken said.
Blinken added that Xi’s trip suggests that Beijing does not think that Putin should not be held accountable for atrocities committed in Ukraine by Russian forces.
It came after the International Criminal Court on Friday called for Putin’s arrest and accused the despot of committing war crimes by abducting Ukrainian children from their homes and deporting them to Russia to be given to Russian families.