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Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin meet in Kremlin

(Photo by Sergei Bobylyov/Contributor via Getty Images)

OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 12:46 PM – Monday, March 20, 2023

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin met at the Kremlin. Beijing hosted the meeting as a “peacekeeping initiative,” but the move was met with skepticism by Kyiv and some Western countries. Despite this criticism, both China and Russia praised their strong and strategic partnership.

During the meeting, Xi’s first public appearance since the official invasion of Ukraine by Moscow, Ukraine was a frequent topic. The visit was portrayed by Beijing as an effort to achieve peace. Western leaders were skeptical of China’s nonpartisan stance, stating that the trip suggested a tacit endorsement of Putin’s actions in Ukraine. American officials also criticized China’s willingness to diplomatically shield Putin. However, Putin reiterated his willingness to negotiate to resolve the conflict during the public portion of their meeting.

Xi’s visit drew scrutiny as it followed the International Criminal Court’s charges against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine and the issue of an arrest warrant against him. Though Beijing framed the visit as a move for peace, many viewed it as support for Putin’s stance on the conflict.

Xi’s visit is expected to further bolster diplomatic coordination, bilateral trade, joint military exercises, and the already-strong strategic ties of both nations.

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