The Russian news agency Tass reported on Tuesday that the government of communist China is preparing for a visit by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin in October.
Genocidal Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, a key ally of Russia’s reportedly confirmed the visit himself while meeting with the head of the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Duma, Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko in the Chinese capital this week. Putin will reportedly visit China to attend the Belt and Road Forum, an event meant to promote China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
The BRI is a global project in which communist China offers predatory loans to poor countries to be used to fund the construction of state-of-the-art infrastructure, mostly roadways, ports, and railways. The loan money typically goes to Chinese companies, prompting massive ways of Chinese immigration into the target countries and depriving locals of job opportunities. The high interest and other detrimental features in BRI contracts often result in the countries being unable to pay their debts back – and the Chinese government seizing the projects involved.
Russia has publicly supported the BRI and designated some joint infrastructure deals as BRI projects, but no public information exists on Moscow formally signing an agreement to join the BRI. Ukraine is an official BRI member.
The visit will be the first in-person meeting between Xi and Putin since a bizarre episode in Russia during the last week of June, when the head of the Wagner paramilitary organization, Yevgeny Prigozhin, stormed into Russia for a “march for justice” against the Russian Defense Ministry. The “armed uprising,” as the Russian government referred to it, lasted only about 24 hours before Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko announced he had brokered a deal between Prigozhin and Putin to stop the march on Moscow and move the Wagner troops into Belarus. The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued statements of support for Putin, but its state media arms expressed anxiety over the chaotic nature of the situation and the public feud between Russia’s legitimate armed forces and the Wagner mercenaries.
The reported visit, if confirmed by China, would also be the second international travel engagement for Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March over the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. The first is his planned attendance in August at the BRICS summit in South Africa. The ICC has no enforcement mechanism, but signatory countries to the charter creating the ICC – including South Africa – have an international legal obligation to comply with warrants. It remains unclear at press time whether or not Putin will attend the summit and, if so, whether South Africa would arrest him.
Tass, the Russian news network, cited former Russian ambassador to China Andrey Denisov as the source for the news that Putin would attend the Beijing Belt and Road Forum in October.
“During the meeting with Valentina Ivanovna Matviyenko, Chairman Xi Jinping said that the Chinese side was getting ready for a visit by the Russian president in October in order to participate in the Third Belt and Road Forum,” Denisov told Tass directly. The visit reportedly stemmed from a more general invitation for Putin to visit China offered in March, during Xi’s last visit to Moscow.
The Kremlin appeared to confirm the report on Wednesday. Top Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Putin’s office was already working on “main agenda items” to discuss with Xi in October.
“The topics are clear. You have seen the agenda of [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping]’s visit to Russia <…>. Actually, they (the leaders of Russia and China – TASS) announced them following the results of their discussions;” Peskov said, according to Tass. “They issued a statement for the press. The topics are quite extensive. These include bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and it is also important to exchange views on the situation in the world, in various regions, which are important for each of our countries.”
“Of course, based on the [two countries’] similar visions of the crux of international relations, and [our common] vision of the necessary quality of international relations between Moscow and Beijing, we have very good prospects for further discussion and, most importantly, for constructive interaction,” he added.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry refused to confirm the report when asked on Wednesday.
“The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held this year. China is in communication with BRI partners on this,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters when asked if Putin would attend.
Coverage of Xi’s visit with Matviyenko, the Russian lawmaker, did not mention Xi extending any such invite to Putin, but instead speaking of meeting with Putin personally in general.
“During my state visit to Russia in March this year, President Putin and I reached new and important consensus on deepening bilateral comprehensive strategic coordination and practical cooperation in various fields,” the Chinese government news outlet Xinhua quoted Xi as saying. Xi also reportedly promised that China would “continue to work with Russia to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.”
“New era” is a Chinese government term typically used to mean the overthrow of America as the major world power, replaced by communist China.
Xinhua also reported that Xi mentioned coordination with Putin at venues such as BRICS – the coalition containing Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – and the economic Shanghai Cooperation Organization, but not the Belt and Road Forum or the BRI.
The two leaders are expected to meet at the BRICS summit in August if Putin chooses to attend and South Africa chooses not to arrest him. They last met in person in March, when Xi conducted an official visit to Moscow. Putin used the occasion to condemn America and the greater West for championing human rights and international legal norms.
“The ‘collective West’ clings more and more desperately to archaic dogmas, to its elusive dominance, putting the fate of entire states and peoples at stake,” Putin said at the time. “The course pursued by the United States of dual containment of Russia and China, as well as all those who do not succumb to American dictates, is becoming more acute and assertive. The architecture of international security and cooperation is being dismantled.”
Putin’s last visit to China occurred in February 2022, when he attended the Beijing Winter Olympics despite the fact that Russia, due to an expansive doping scandal involving over 1,000 athletes, was technically banned from competing. Putin himself was also banned from attending but, as a personal guest of Xi Jinping’s, the ban did not apply. Putin cheered on Russian athletes in the audience of various events. The visit occurred shortly before Putin launched a “special operation” to oust democratically elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from power, alleging that his administration was full of “Nazis.”
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