Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a series of meetings in Moscow this week, discussing their countries’ close cooperation, among other issues. Notably, Putin expressed his openness to China’s peace plan to end the conflict in Ukraine, which Xi had presented. This reinforced the strategic alliance between the two leaders, which was targeted earlier this month when the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against Putin for his alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida traveled to Kiev to meet with President Volodimir Zelensky, showing his country’s support for Ukraine. The US, on the other hand, accused China of providing diplomatic cover for Russia and urged the world not to be “deceived” by China’s position.
Despite criticisms from the West, Russia and China have strengthened their cooperation against the US’s dominance in international politics. Putin praised China’s “fair and balanced position on the most pressing international issues,” while Xi welcomed the “close relations” of their two countries and their “global strategic cooperation.”
While Zelensky initially welcomed China’s peace proposal, there are no indications that China intends to intervene in the conflict. China has recently participated in diplomatic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but analysts view a cessation of hostilities in Ukraine as unlikely.
The US opposes calls for a ceasefire and claims that China’s proposals will only “consolidate Russia’s gains” and allow Moscow to prepare for a new offensive. However, China has urged for impartial mediation in the conflict and has criticized the international pressure campaign against Russia.