China’s President Xi Jinping on Monday said that Beijing will work with Russia to “promote a multi-polar world.”
On his ninth trip to Russia since being first elected as president in 2013, Xi said: “China will work with Russia to uphold true multilateralism, promote a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations, and help make global governance more just and equitable.”
Xi, 69, landed at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport for a three-day official trip to Russia, his first since Russia launched a war on Ukraine last year.
President Xi Jinping just arrived in Moscow and was warmly welcomed. pic.twitter.com/MgPnyukbt3
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) March 20, 2023
He has, however, spoken to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin several times last year.
“The growth of China-Russia relations has not only brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, but also made important contributions to the development and progress of the world,” the Chinese president said, according to Chinese daily Global Times, just as the bilateral trade between China and Russia rose to around $190 billion last year.
“I am confident that the visit will produce fruitful results, and inject fresh impetus into the sound and steady growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era,” said Xi.
Calling Russia, a “friendly neighbor,” Xi said: “It gives me great pleasure to once again set foot on the soil of Russia (to) pay a state visit to the Russian Federation at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.”
Also read: China's Xi arrives in Russia to meet Putin over Ukraine war
All eyes are on Xi’s meetings with Putin as Moscow’s war on Kyiv has stretched beyond a year.
Last month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement listing Beijing’s position on a political settlement to the war in Ukraine, where 12 points were listed, including respecting the sovereignty of all countries, ceasing hostilities, resuming peace talks, and resolving the humanitarian crisis in the region.
The plan also calls for keeping nuclear power plants safe, facilitating grain exports, and stopping unilateral sanctions, noting that “dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.”
Ahead of his trip, Xi described his Moscow visit "a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace."
"I look forward to working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination," he said in an article published in Russian media.