Chinese president Xi Jinping to meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin enter a hall for talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 5, 2019

Chinese president Xi Jinping will embark on a three-day trip to Moscow in an apparent show of support for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The visit, announced by both countries early on Friday, will take place from Monday to Wednesday next week.

The leaders will discuss “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China,” as well as exchange views “in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

They will also sign “important bilateral documents,” the statement read.

China has declared a “no-limits” friendship with Russia and refused to condemn Moscow’s invasion — even while declaring that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries be respected.

Beijing has also condemned Western sanctions and accused NATO and the United States of provoking Russia.

Mr Putin invited Mr Xi to visit Russia during a video conference call the two held in late December. The visit, Mr Putin said, could “demonstrate to the whole world the strength of the Russian-Chinese ties” and “become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.”

In a rare phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart on Thursday, China’s foreign minister said Beijing is concerned about the year-old grinding conflict with Russia spinning out of control and urged talks on a political solution with Moscow.

Qin Gang told Dmytro Kuleba that China has “always upheld an objective and fair stance on the Ukraine issue, has committed itself to promoting peace and advancing negotiations and calls on the international community to create conditions for peace talks,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

Mr Kuleba later said that he and Qin “discussed the significance of the principle of territorial integrity.”

“I underscored the importance of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s)’s Peace Formula for ending the aggression and restoring just peace in Ukraine,” said Kuleba, who spoke the same day with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.