Xi arrives in Moscow for three-day visit

Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on Monday for a three-day visit to Russia, as the two nations appear to be growing closer amid Russia’s yearlong war on neighboring Ukraine. 

China has billed Xi’s trip as opening “a new chapter of China-Russia friendship” as Beijing turns to Russia for oil and gas and for solidarity in its claims the U.S. and the West are meddling in its affairs. 

“China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination,” Xi said in a statement announcing he’d make the trip, adding that he looks forward to developing “a new blueprint” for the China-Russia partnership with President Vladimir Putin. 

China’s foreign ministry said Xi would be in Russia Monday through Wednesday, but has not shared specifics about what topics might come up during the trip. The Kremlin said Putin and Xi will discuss “pressing issues related to the future of relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China.”

The visit comes days after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin over alleged war crimes, including the deportation of children, during the invasion of Ukraine — and as China attempts to position itself as an arbiter of peace. 

The Biden administration has cautioned that Xi could call for a cease-fire between Russia and Ukraine during the visit that would be more favorable to Moscow than to Kyiv. 

China recently dismissed recent concerns from the U.S. State Department that Beijing was considering ramping up its support of Russia to possibly include ammunition and weapons.

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