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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Xi Jinping’s trip to Putin could spell trouble for the US

Chinese President Xi Jinping has accepted an invitation to visit Moscow on March 20-22 for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, according to the Kremlin.

The Russian government said the two leaders would sign “important bilateral documents” and discuss “issues of further development of a comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China.”

Xi’s visit comes amid Russia’s ongoing attack on Ukraine, which China declines to condemn, an expert said news week The visit makes it “look like China is taking sides”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Twitter on Friday, “This will be a journey for friendship and peace promoting more democracy in international relations.

“China will take an objective and fair position on the Ukraine crisis and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks.”

in one thinly veiled jab to the WestHua argued the China-Russia partnership is “completely different from what certain countries have done, including sticking to the Cold War mentality.”

Speak with news week, Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society’s security think tank in the UK, said the visit was “absolutely” a challenge to the “US-led international order”.

He added that the visit will “make people question China’s neutrality towards Ukraine, in fact it looks like China is taking sides”.

In February, the US Department of Defense warned that China was planning to supply Russia with “weapons that could be used to subdue Ukraine.”

Mendoza downplayed the suggestion that this could be linked to the Chinese leader’s visit, commenting, “Xi doesn’t need to fly to Moscow to send Russian arms to Ukraine.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Chinese government press center have been emailed for comment.

Tensions between the US and both Beijing and Moscow are high, with the US military embroiled in incidents with both powers in recent weeks.

In early February, a US F-22 fighter jet shot down a Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina after it made its way over North America from Alaska.

On Tuesday, a US MQ-9 Reaper drone was hit by a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea and crashed, according to the Air Force.

The US European Command released footage of the incident on Thursday that appeared to show the Russian plane dumping fuel on the US drone before the crash.

In an accompanying statement, the command said: “Two Russian Su-27 aircraft were leading on the 14th 2023.

“Russian Su-27s dumped fuel on the MQ-9’s propeller and hit it, resulting in US forces having to down the MQ-9 in international waters.”

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