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Xi, Putin hail ties ahead of 'journey of peace' to Moscow

Putin visited the Ukrainian city of Mariupol

20 March, 08:39
(ANSA-AFP) - BEIJING, MAR 20 - Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin applauded on Monday the solidity of their alliance as the Chinese leader headed to Moscow for a summit with the internationally isolated Russian president. Xi described his trip as a "journey of friendship, cooperation and peace", though China has been criticised by Western nations for what they consider tacit backing and diplomatic cover for Russia's war in Ukraine. "I look forward to working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision" for relations, Xi wrote in a signed article in Russian newspaper Russian Gazette, that was also carried by Chinese state news agency Xinhua. China has sought to portray itself as a neutral party in the Ukraine war, and its foreign ministry said last week that Beijing would "play a constructive role in promoting peace talks" between Kyiv and Moscow. Putin welcomed Beijing's moves on Ukraine as indicative of a willingness to play a "constructive role" in ending the conflict, while saying Chinese-Russian relations were "at the highest point". Xi's trip serves to bolster an isolated Putin, who in a defiant move on Sunday went to the Ukrainian city of Mariupol -- his first visit to territory captured from Kyiv since Moscow's invasion in February 2022. (ANSA-AFP).

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