Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on Monday for a three-day visit to show his support for Russian President Vladimir Putin amid war crimes charges from the International Criminal Court. The Kremlin has welcomed China’s peace plan for Ukraine and said it will be discussed during talks between Putin and Xi that will begin over dinner on Monday.
The two countries have described Xi’s trip as part of efforts to further deepen their “no-limits friendship.” Beijing has called for a cease-fire, but Washington strongly rejected the idea as the effective ratification of the Kremlin’s battlefield gains. China looks to Russia as a source of oil and gas for its energy-hungry economy and as a partner in opposing what both see as American domination of global affairs.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin on Friday, which the Kremlin rejected as “legally null and void.” In response, China’s foreign ministry called on the ICC to “respect the jurisdictional immunity” of a head of state and “avoid politicization and double standards.”
Xi’s visit is seen by many analysts as an opportunity to demonstrate China's commitment to its relationship with Russia despite international pressure over Ukraine. It remains unclear if any progress can be made towards ending the conflict, but it is clear that Xi's visit is intended to send a strong message of solidarity between China and Russia at this time.