The Chinese president could travel to Moscow and then talk to Kiev. And the USA are ‘rooting’ for him
Xi Jinping at the center of the chessboard between Ukraine, Russia and the United States, with the war between Moscow and Kiev in the background. The president of China, who has just been re-elected for a third term, seems destined to assume a pivotal role in the international scene in which Volodymyr Zelensky, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden move.
Xi plans to travel to Moscow as early as next week for a meeting with Putin. The imminent appointment is announced by sources who underline the importance of this visit with a view to supporting an increasingly isolated Russia after the conflict in Ukraine. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not confirm the visit, adding that ”at the moment I have nothing to say on this subject. As a rule, announcements of official visits abroad are coordinated simultaneously and by mutual agreement between the parties. We’ll let you know”.
It’s not all. Xi also intends to open a channel with Kiev. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chinese president is also aiming to have an online meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky for the first time since the war in Ukraine began more than a year ago. The talks should take place, writes the WSJ citing well-informed sources, ”presumably after” the visit of the Chinese president to Russia.
The US has encouraged Xi Jinping to talk to his Ukrainian counterpart to hear Kiev’s position as well, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stressed, speaking to reporters.
“We encouraged President Xi to contact President Zelensky because we believe that China and President Xi himself should listen directly to Ukrainian opinion and not just Russian opinion. So we have effectively urged Beijing for that contact to take place,” Sullivan said during a press briefing aboard Air Force One.
The United States, in this crucial phase, will not limit itself to observing. President Biden, to a question from reporters on the sidelines of the meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in California, explained that he will soon speak with Xi. The number 1 of the White House “will have a conversation” with the Chinese leader, added Sullivan. “I can’t give you a date. Because there is no date set, but President Biden has indicated his willingness to have a telephone conversation with President Xi,” he said again.
In Washington, however, there remains a firm belief that Russia and China are “clearly” aligned in disinformation about the war. “The US as a country and the West as a society have been slow to accept and realize the extent to which China and Russia have made information space operations an integral part of their national goals,” a State Department source summarized. .
Contact between Xi and Biden, in the event of white smoke in a relatively short time, would take place at a time when relations on the Beijing-Washington axis have registered fibrillation. Last week, before being re-elected, Xi accused “Western countries, led by the United States, of carrying out a total containment, encirclement and repression of China, which has led to serious and unprecedented challenges for the development” of the Village.