Putin met Xi in Beijing as Russian troops advanced in Ukraine

Putin met Xi in Beijing as Russian troops advanced in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing to begin a two-day state visit to China, underscoring his close ties with leader Xi Jinping as Russian troops make significant advances in Ukraine.

The visit – Putin’s first symbolic trip abroad since entering a new term as Russian president last week – is a sign of Xi’s support for Putin.

Putin landed in the Chinese capital early Thursday morning, hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced he would halt all future international visits as his troops fend off a surprise Russian offensive in the northeastern region of Kharkiv.

The meeting in Beijing comes as Russia’s economy and defense complex appear unbowed by Western sanctions.

Ahead of the trip, Putin praised the “unprecedented level of strategic partnership” between the countries in an interview with Chinese state media Xinhua.

He said the leaders aimed to “strengthen foreign policy coordination” and deepen cooperation in “industry and high technology, space and peaceful use of nuclear energy, artificial intelligence, renewable energy and other innovative sectors.”
He also praised “China’s approach to solving the crisis in Ukraine.”

Beijing has never condemned Russian aggression. It claims neutrality in the conflict and has called for peace talks that take into account the positions of both sides.

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