China’s top diplomat will visit Russia this month, the State Department said. The first visit by a Chinese official in that capacity since Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
china’s new diplomat to visit russia; Wang Yi, who was appoint as Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign adviser last month. Will visit Russia starting Tuesday on an eight-day international tour that will include visits to France, Italy. Hungary, as well as a speech at the Munich Security Conference today. this weekend, which may include US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The overseas tour is Wang’s first since stepping down as foreign minister. Taking up his new role, and could be a test of the diplomat’s ability to balance Beijing’s close ties with Moscow. While trying to improve China’s image and relations in Europe — and subsequently the United States.
Wang’s presence at the Munich Security Conference. Which Blinken is also attending, could create an opportunity for the two sides to meet face-to-face. Since US-China tensions flared again late last month after a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon entered US airspace.
The fallout from the hot air balloon was swift. Washington accused China of overseeing an international monitoring mission — claims Beijing denied. Then accused the United States of flying into its airspace “illegally” more than 10 times. beginning. last year. China says the balloon, which was spot and shot down by US troops earlier this month. Was a civilian research aircraft that accidentally veered off course.
The incident also had an immediate impact on. What was seen as an opportunity for the US and China to stabilize relations. As Blink postpone an expect visit to Beijing in early February after US officials announce they were monitoring the device.
State Department spokesman Ned Price declined to confirm Monday. That Blinken would attend the Munich conference, saying there were no plans to meet with a Chinese official. He noted, however, that the United States is “always considering diplomatic options,” including meeting in third countries.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin did not mention a possible meeting with Blinken. When he announced Wang Yi’s travel plans at a press conference on Monday. Wang’s roadmap would give China the opportunity to work on “new progress” in bilateral relations with France, Italy and Hungary. As well as “strengthen strategic mutual trust between China and the EU,” the spokesperson said.
China’s relationship with Europe came under great strain after the war in Ukraine. Beijing refused to strongly condemn the invasion and did not support many measures at the UN level. China has Continued to cooperate with the Russian military on large-scale military exercises while increasing its trade. Fuel purchases from Moscow.
According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Wang’s visit to Moscow will provide an opportunity for China and Russia to further develop their strategic cooperation. Exchange views” on “international and regional issues of common interest,” a frequently used phrase. covering topics such as the war in Ukraine.
The State Department did not say whether Wang would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“China is willing to take this visit as an opportunity and cooperate with Russia to promote the continuous growth of bilateral relations in the direction set by the two heads of state, protect the legitimate rights and interests of both sides, and play an active role in the world peace,” Wang Wenbin said. spokesman.
Wang’s visit could also be a foreshadowing of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s official visit to Moscow later this year. Putin invited Xi during the traditional telephone conversation between the two leaders at the end of the year, but the Chinese Foreign Ministry has not yet confirmed his plans.