Chinese President Xi Jinping invited his “dear friend” Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit China this year — as the communist power gets slammed for attempting to present itself as a peacemaker in the war in Ukraine.
Putin was invited to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation later this year. He previously attended Xi’s signature infrastructure initiative in 2017 and 2019.
Xi also invited Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishaustin to visit and meet the communist country’s new Prime Minister Li Qiang, Russian news agency TASS reported.
The Chinese leader claims to have come to Moscow as an arbitrator, bringing with him a 12-point peace plan to settle the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia welcomed the plan, which calls for a ceasefire, settling the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and a prisoner exchange — but fails to mention key details like Ukraine’s independence and Russia’s occupation of its territory.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday the two leaders had discussed the peace plan during their one-on-one meeting Monday, but would not say if any progress had been made.
“I won’t make any assessments. Let’s wait for the statements [by the leaders] for the news media,” following talks on Tuesday.
The summary of the discussions also made no mention of whether Xi had offered to act as a mediator between the clashing nations.
Kyiv and its Western allies have been skeptical of China’s intentions in resolving the war as the 12-point plan makes no mention of Ukraine’s demand that all Russian troops retreat from its territory.
Officials in Taiwan have also expressed distrust of China’s attempts to act as a peacemaker in Ukraine while also threatening war against the self-ruled island.
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu called out the communist power on the double standard.
“The #PRC threatens war against #Taiwan & others, but wants to propose a peace plan to #Russia, who initiated the war against #Ukraine,” Wu wrote on the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account.
“We ain’t no idiots. Want peace? Both autocrats should immediately stop their threats, aggression & expansionism.”
Xi’s visit comes after the International Criminal Court on Friday issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest for alleged war crimes. The Kremlin ignored the authority of the ICC, saying the move was “legally null and void.”
China’s foreign ministry on Monday called on the ICC to “respect the jurisdictional immunity” of a head of state and “avoid politicization and double standards.”