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WorldAsiaXi Jinping's visit to Russia and Ukraine's foreign policy

Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia and Ukraine’s foreign policy



The situation in Ukraine is one of the topics discussed during talks between Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin in Moscow. At the meeting of the leaders of China and the Russian Federation, held on March 20, the parties discussed “the Ukrainian agenda”, according to Russian media.

The President of the People’s Republic of China arrived in Moscow for a state visit on March 20 – his first foreign visit since his re-election as head of state.

Official talks between the Chinese president and the Russian president are scheduled for March 22. On the anniversary of the start of Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a document titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

Ukraine said it was closely following the Chinese president’s visit to Russia. This was stated by the official representative of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Oleg Nikolenko.

“We expect Beijing to use its influence with Moscow to force it to stop its war of aggression against Ukraine,” he said.

According to Ukrainian political scientist Taras Chornovil, today there is no clear information as to whether the subject of Ukraine will be the main topic during the talks in Moscow.

“Ukrainian influences on Chinese politics are practically non-existent. They must be created from scratch, they are completely ruined. Ukraine hasn’t had an ambassador to China for two years, and that also played a role,” Chornovil said in an interview with a media Russian service correspondent.

Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow may be aimed more at harmonizing China’s own interests in Russia, he said.

“Thus, Ukraine will be a subject on which China can implement some of its ideas or mechanisms. It is obvious that in the Moscow meeting, trade issues, the penetration of Chinese enterprises in the Far East will be coordinated, and Xi Jinping will lag behind the interests of Chinese expansion in the Far East. Obviously, this will be the key issue of the visit”, specifies the expert.

However, continues Tchornovil, China could also declare that it is ready to offer the possibility of conducting direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

“In the format he organized between Iran and Saudi Arabia. But there is only a “little problem”: there are no occupied territories between these countries”, explains the political scientist.

In the case of Ukraine, he said, the Chinese peace plan is not suitable, because Ukraine cannot recognize the legitimate occupation of its own territories.

“What China is offering is very close to the ‘Korean version’, it doesn’t suit Ukraine at all. And it does not provide for the withdrawal of occupying troops from the territory of Ukraine. It is obvious that China is ready to offer the two countries to mothball the situation along the perimeter that exists today. But no one will support such an option in Ukraine either,” says Chornovil.

He believes that the Chinese leader can offer Vladimir Zelenskyyy various options for the gradual withdrawal of the occupying forces.

“But then Moscow will not agree to this – after all, it recognized Ukrainian territories as its own. And therefore, there is no ground for such negotiations on both sides, ”says the analyst.

Director of the World Policy Institute Yevgeny Magda notes that due to the decision of the International Criminal Court, Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow could not take place.

“On the one hand, this is a lesson in real politics for those who said that after the decision of the International Criminal Court, Xi would not fly to Moscow. Happened. And not just like that, but for the married. China benefits from Russia as a junior partner. Xi might change the guidelines in relation to the ICC decision, but he was not going to cancel the visit,” Magda said.

The political scientist stresses that it is necessary to take into account the “dangerous” moments of this visit for Ukraine.

“There is a factor of possible supply of ammunition from China – it’s really dangerous, obviously China has such stocks. But you have to understand that we are also supplied with ammunition by the United States and the “European Union. This is provided for by the norms of the inter-shock law, we should have assumed, based on the fact that Xi calls the Russian-Ukrainian war a Ukrainian crisis,” the expert notes.

At the same time, according to him, China has something to lose in the event of demonstrative support for Russia on the “Ukrainian file”.

“Our partners in Washington and Brussels have given Beijing a pretty clear hint that if it supports Moscow, then their trade turnover will be reduced. And China has something to lose if Russia supports it. This signal is well understood in Beijing. But even in the Chinese understanding, Beijing is obviously not going to discriminate against Russia either,” explains the analyst.

Yaroslav Bozhko, director of the Doctrine Center for Political Studies, noted that the Chinese leader’s visit to Moscow demonstrates a new round of China’s confrontation with the West, especially with the United States.

“So far, Beijing is not yet ready for a full and final conflict with the West, which means that it uses relations with states such as Russia and Iran mainly as an instrument of influence on the West and an attempt to change the terms of the interaction in its favor,” says Bozhko.

According to him, the meeting with Xi Jinping offers Putin the opportunity to partly offset the effect of international isolation and replace Western companies in the Russian economy with Chinese companies.

“Putin wrote an article for the Chinese newspaper Renmin Ribao with a message about his commitment to the political and diplomatic path to end the war. This suggests that the PRC could have previously imposed a number of demands on him regarding the speech that accompanies Xi’s visit to Moscow,” said the Ukrainian political scientist.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

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