WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Moscow for the first time since Russian troops invaded Ukraine. While the visit is seen as a boost for Russian President Vladimir Putin, some hope a peace deal can be brokered during this visit. Military researchers doubt a peace deal will happen during this visit.
A military band greeted Chinese President Xi Jinping after landing in Russia. This kicks off a series of in-person meetings between Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, hopes President Jinping will advocate for Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We are concerned that instead, China will reiterate calls for a ceasefire that leaves Russian forces inside Ukraine’s sovereign territory,” said Kirby. “Any ceasefire that does not address the removal of Russian forces from Ukraine would effectively ratify Russia’s illegal conquest.”
Researchers with the RAND Corporation said Jinping’s visit to Moscow is important because Beijing has been under a lot of pressure the past couple of months to support Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“The purpose of this trip to Russia is to first reassure Moscow that China will remain friendly and has no intent of betraying Russia but to set the stage for his visit to Ukraine where Xi Jinping will attempt to portray himself as an honest broker and as a country that can help bring about peace,” said Dr. Timothy Heath, Senior International Defense Researcher with the RAND Corporation.
But Heath said to keep our expectations low that a peace deal will breakout from Jinping’s visit.
“The reality is China is very closely aligned with Russia and sympathetic to Russia’s position,” said Dr. Heath. “Given that fact, it’s very unlikely that China will be able to persuade Putin to accept terms of a peace deal that Ukraine might find acceptable.”
As of now, it’s still unclear what the two leaders have discussed during these meetings. The meetings between the two leaders come just days after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for the deportation and abduction of children from Ukraine to Russia.