Updated Mar 13, 2023, 8:28am EDT
East Asia

China’s Xi set for virtual meeting with Zelenskyy after Putin visit: Report

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping before an extended-format meeting of heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit (SCO) member states in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 16, 2022. Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS
Sputnik/Sergey Bobylev/Pool via REUTERS

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to hold a virtual meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after he visits Moscow next week for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The virtual meeting would be the first between Xi and Zelenskyy since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.

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Xi’s trip to Russia comes at a time when China is increasingly asserting its diplomatic clout. Last week Beijing brokered a breakthrough in a dispute between arch-rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia, with the latter two countries agreeing to re-establish diplomatic ties broken in 2016.

In a recent speech Xi said China should promote “global security initiatives” and “actively participate” in reforming global governance.

On the anniversary of his country’s full-scale invasion, Zelenskyy said that he hoped to meet Xi, adding that China has historically respected Ukraine’s borders and sovereignty.

Last month, China put forward a 12-point peace plan, urging respect for the “sovereignty of all countries” and gradual de-escalation aimed at a “comprehensive ceasefire.” Western leaders, however, have remained skeptical about the proposal and fear Xi’s government may aid Russia in the conflict.