China's Xi to visit Russia, discuss cooperation with Putin
Xi Jinping's trip announcement comes as the West increasingly views China as one of Russia's biggest supporters in its invasion of Ukraine
Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit President Vladimir Putin in Russia between March 20-22 for a state visit, Beijing said on Friday.
The Kremlin also announced the visit, saying it will take place "at the invitation of Vladimir Putin."
"During the talks, they will discuss topical issues of further development of comprehensive partnership relations and strategic cooperation between Russia and China," the Kremlin said. "A number of important bilateral documents will be signed," it added.
China has previously offered to broker peace in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In a rare telephonic conversation, on Thursday, China's foreign minister told his Ukrainian counterpart that Beijing is concerned that the year-old conflict with Russia was spinning out of control and urged talks with Moscow for a political solution.
China's efforts at mediation have been met with skepticism in the West. Top ranking US officials have even accused China of supplying Russia with arms for its ongoing war in Ukraine. China has denied these claims.
Chinese-Russian 'no limit' ties
In February 2022, Beijing and Moscow struck a "no limits" partnership when Putin was visiting China for the opening of the Winter Olympics — weeks before launching the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Since then, both countries have reaffirmed the strength of their ties.
In late December Putin invited Xi to Russia over a conference video call to "demonstrate to the whole world the strength of the Russian-Chinese ties." he further said that the visit could "become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations."
Trade between the two countries has increased since the invasion last year. China is Russia's biggest buyer of oil, a key source of revenue for Moscow at a time when the European Union and its allies have economically boycotted the Kremlin.
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