West News Wire: Vladimir Putin has been invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping to pay a reciprocal visit to China later this year or as soon as he is able. Xi Jinping is now on an official visit to Russia. After a meeting with Mikhail Mishustin, the Russian prime minister, whom Xi also invited to visit China, he made the offer public.
On the first day of his three-day visit to Russia, the Chinese leader announced he had issued an invitation to Putin, local media reported Tuesday. The guest said that the Russian president may arrive whenever he wanted.
The visiting Chinese dignitary also expects his Russian counterpart to be in China later this year for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Xi added, noting that Putin had taken part in the previous two events, in 2017 and 2019.
Belt and Road is China’s flagship, multibillion dollar initiative for investment in the infrastructure of other nations, which Beijing hopes will significantly boost international trade. Xi first proposed it in 2013.
During his meeting with Mishustin, Xi lamented that the Covid-19 pandemic became an obstacle to personal visits by top-level officials and urged the premier to take advantage as soon as possible of the recent lifting of travel restrictions in China. Mishustin’s office has confirmed that the invitation has been accepted.
In Russia, the visit of the Chinese delegation led by President Xi is regarded as a significant political occasion. The two countries refer to their interactions as a strategic partnership that has improved relations between Moscow and Beijing.
The development of ties with Russia, according to Xi, was “a strategic choice China has chosen on the basis of its own fundamental interests and the prevailing trends of the world,” given that both countries were dedicated to creating a multipolar world, he said on Monday.