China's President Xi Jinping is meeting with Russia's Putin this week
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been tight for a hot minute.
The backstory: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been tight for a hot minute. Xi went to visit Putin back in 2019, and Putin came through to Beijing for the Winter Olympics in 2022. During the Olympics, the duo signed some long-term energy supply agreements and pledged an unrestricted friendship.
More recently: Diplomatic relations between China and the US and other Western countries have become more strained over the last year over several different issues, like Taiwan, tech competition and the war in Ukraine. But Xi has been making moves on the global stage. Just last week, he played the role of peacemaker by helping Saudi Arabia and Iran restore their diplomatic ties.
The development: This week, China's president is jetting to Russia to meet with Putin. What's on the agenda for the visit? Well, Xi will dive into China's 12-point strategy for ending the war in Ukraine. Also, Xi and Putin are gearing up to sign some new agreements and explore ways to develop their partnership further.
On the other hand, Xi is also planning to have a virtual chat with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which is a big deal since it's their first conversation since the invasion. Ukraine has been trying to get in touch with China's top dogs to ask for support against Russia, and it looks like it might just get its shot.
“Xi’s visit to Russia will be a journey of friendship,” said Wang Wenbin, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, on Friday at a regular press briefing in Beijing.
“Russia’s economic isolation has already benefited the Chinese economy in certain ways,” said Joseph Torigian, an assistant professor at American University who specializes in researching Chinese and Russian politics. “We don’t know whether Xi will push for even more beneficial deals or whether he will try to avoid a sense in Moscow that he is exploiting their position.”