China’s third leader to face Russian President Putin since invading Ukraine: state media

Li Zhanshu, the country’s supreme lawmaker and member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China, is scheduled to meet with Putin at the Eastern Economic Forum, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Chinese state media said Li will attend the forum starting Wednesday as part of a 10-day overseas tour that will include stops in Russia, South Korea, Mongolia and Nepal. The visit also marked the highest-ranking Chinese government official to leave the country since the start of the pandemic, which has seen China close its borders and limit direct diplomacy.

The scheduled meeting underscores the importance of Russian relations to China even in the face of international backlash against Russia after Russia’s unilateral invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

It also comes just weeks before the pivotal quinennial political conference in Beijing, where Xi Jinping is expected to break with tradition and assume a third term in power, becoming China’s most powerful leader in decades. to solidify his role as a leader.

Xi and Putin declared an “unrestricted” partnership between the two countries weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and in the face of tensions with the West, Moscow and Beijing have grown closer in recent years. emerged as a partner.Since then Beijing refused to accuse Instead, it repeatedly held NATO and the US accountable for the conflict.

China’s foreign ministry said last month that during meetings with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the two sides had agreed to “deepen substantive cooperation.” Gather in Phnom Penh.

Li made similar comments during a meeting with Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Ivanovich Denisov in Beijing last week, ahead of his anticipated visit to Russia. Li, who is also chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, stressed that the two countries are “moving in the right direction under the strategic guidance of the two leaders, with firm mutual support and constant political trust.” did. national media.

What Putin and Lee will discuss and where Putin will address Wednesday at a forthcoming meeting at a forum focused on building investment ties between Russia’s eastern regions and global investors is unknown.

their meeting publication Russian energy giant Gazprom said Tuesday it had agreed to switch payments for gas supplies to China from dollars to yuan and rubles.China’s energy imports from Russia take a hit record high As Western countries rolled out sanctions against Moscow and Chinese buyers wiped out discount fuel, this year for some products.

According to Tass, other forum attendees scheduled to meet with Putin include Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s National Administrative Council and Supreme Commander of Myanmar’s Defense Ministry, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Mongolia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Prime Minister Luvsannamsrein Oyun Erden is included.


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