Published: 10:08, March 18, 2023 | Updated: 11:48, March 20, 2023
Editorial: Xi's visit to Russia raises hopes of peace progress


That Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia from Monday to Wednesday has prompted many in the Western world, including the media, to speculate over the timing and reason of the visit. In a way, the hullabaloo over Xi's expected meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin shows the great importance the international community attaches to the visit.

Perhaps the high price some countries are paying for the Ukraine crisis has raised the international community's expectations that China can resume the peace process to end the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Perhaps China's success in mediating a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran has raised hopes it could do the same with Russia and Ukraine, particularly because Beijing has open communication channels with both countries.

The United States, the main instigator and beneficiary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cares little about the Ukrainian lives lost in the conflict and, instead, uses the deaths and destruction in Ukraine to launch a smear campaign against China and coerce its allies into supporting it in its efforts to weaken Russia. But despite the US' claims otherwise, China, given its neutral stance, is a practical mediator.

READ MORE: Xi, Putin urge more equitable world order

Xi's visit can be seen as China's latest concrete action, according to the position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis it issued on Feb 24, to help end the conflict. This is something State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang expounded on during his talks over the phone with Ukrainian Foreign Minister DmytroKuleba on Thursday. Congratulating China on its success in mediating a détente between Riyadh and Teheran, Kuleba said China is not only an important cooperation partner of Ukraine, but also a major country with global influence, indicating the high expectations Kyiv has pinned on the visit.

The visit can help Ukraine and Russia keep alive the hope of dialogue and keep the door open to a political settlement, because China refuses to take sides in the conflict, and remains committed to helping restore peace, while calling on the international community to create enabling conditions for peace talks.

ALSO READ: China, Russia play role of 'ballast stone' in world peace, says Xi

Notably, this is the first state visit of Xi after he was elected president of China for a third term earlier this month — Russia was the destination of his first state visit after becoming president for the first time a decade ago. The visit, apart from deepening mutual trust between the two countries and advancing their comprehensive strategic partnership, will also be aimed at restoring peace in Eurasia.

So those trying to distort the visit and reading too much into Sino-Russian entente are only exposing their true colors as conspiracy theorists and hegemonists.