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Business News/ News / World/  Vladimir Putin to meet Xi Jinping, 'discuss Ukraine, energy, trade': What it signifies?
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Vladimir Putin to meet Xi Jinping, 'discuss Ukraine, energy, trade': What it signifies?

Russian President Vladimir Putin is all set to pay a state visit to China from May 16 to 17. Here's what to expect from the crucial meet?

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow on July 4, 2017. (AFP)Premium
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands during a signing ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow on July 4, 2017. (AFP)

The much-anticipated meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping has bene finalized now. Putin will meet Jinping during his two-day state visit to China starting on Thursday, May 16, confirmed the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

"At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will pay a state visit to China from May 16 to 17," Shina Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announced on Tuesday.

According to reports, Russia also confirmed the trip and said Putin was going on Xi's invitation. The Kremlin was quoted by PTI as saying that this will be Putin's first foreign trip since he was sworn in as president and began his fifth term in office.

What will Putin-Jinping discuss?

"Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping will discuss the conflict in Ukraine as well as energy and economic cooperation," Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, another China's foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the two leaders would discuss “cooperation in various fields of bilateral relations ... as well as international and regional issues of common concern."

The Kremlin noted that “it is planned to sign a joint statement of the heads of state following talks and several bilateral documents."

During his visit, Putin will travel to two cities: Beijing and Harbin. This will be Putin’s second visit to China in about eight months. Also, this year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic relations.

What does the Putin-Jinping meeting signify?

The latest between the two world leaders is seen as a show of unity between the two key allies against the US-led Western liberal global order.  The meeting hold significance in the wake of the ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza, attacks in the Red Sea and tensions between Israel and Iran.

CNN reported that Putin's China visit mirrors Xi's own state visit to Moscow just over a year ago, where he had marked the “norm-shattering start" of a new term as president – like Putin. 

Vladimir Putin was sworn in as President of Russia for the record fifth term during his inauguration ceremony on May 7, 2024. Last year, China's Xi Jinping was awarded a third five-year term as the country’s president Friday, putting him on track to stay in power for life.

Russia recently captured at least seven villages in Ukraine amid the ongoing "military operation". At this time, "Russia is looking to stabilize his country’s relations with China, including trade and energy," Zhao Minghao, a professor at the Institute of International Studies in Shanghai told Washington Post.

Moreover, Putin-Jinping's meeting comes just a few months ahead of the US Presidential elections, especially when Washington is under the fire over its support for Israel amid the Gaza war. 

“While Xi regards his ties with Putin as counter to the US' increasing hostility towards China, which Beijing says is aimed at countering its rise, there is unease here over Putin’s continuation of the Ukraine war," PTI reported.

The meeting stands crucial for Xi Jinping too, who recently visited Europe and held a trilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Now, Xi's meeting with Putin is broadly seen as an "opportunity to showcase that his allegiance to Putin has not broken his ability to engage with the West".

"Putin’s trip signals that Beijing has not changed how it views its bilateral relationship with Russia despite consistent calls from European leaders to halt China’s support of Russia’s war economy and defense industry," the Washington Post quoted Meia Nouwens, senior fellow for Chinese security and defense policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, as saying.

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Published: 14 May 2024, 08:42 PM IST
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