China’s Xi plans to meet with Putin in Moscow, Wall Street Journal reports

Pauline Lockwood in Hong Kong

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is planning to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in “the coming months,” the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plan.

Arrangements for the trip are at an “early stage” and the timing has not been finalized, the Journal said, citing the people familiar with the visit, adding that Xi could travel to Russia in April or early May.

Russian state-run news agency TASS referenced the Journal’s report, saying Xi “may soon” visit Russia.

Putin extended an invitation to Xi during a customary end-of-year call between the two leaders, but China’s Foreign Ministry has yet to confirm any plans.

“No-limits” partnership: Though China has claimed impartiality over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has refused to condemn Moscow and parroted Kremlin lines blaming NATO for provoking the conflict.

Beijing and Moscow are as close as ever since their leaders declared a “no-limits” friendship a year ago — partly driven by their shared animosity toward the United States. And as the US and its allies reaffirm their support for Ukraine and step up military aid, China’s deepening partnership with Russia has raised alarms in Western capitals.

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