Xi Jinping and Putin meet to discuss a "political solution" to the war in Ukraine

This is the Russian president's first official trip since his re-election as head of the nation, as well as his second meeting with the Asian leader in less than six months.

This Thursday, the close and solid relationship between the presidents of China and Russia was once again highlighted by an official visit from Vladimir Putin, who was invited to Beijing by his counterpart, Xi Jinping. This is the Russian president's second visit to China in less than six months and also his first state visit since he was re-elected as head of Russia.

With this visit, both leaders publicly reaffirmed their intention to continue collaborating closely, as has been the case since both have been at the helm of their respective countries. A relationship that was strengthened even by the war in Ukraine, which created a paradigm of isolation around Russia that China completely ignored to provide its economic and strategic support. China benefits from the blockade of Russia to buy resources at a better price. This allows Russia to take a break from the international blockade and continue maintaining its war economy. Despite this, China intends to continue remaining a neutral actor regarding the situation in Ukraine, although under criticism from the pro-Ukraine bloc.

Xi Jinping received Putin in a friendly tone, in addition to the protocol gestures of respect and military marches at the Beijing airport. The reception took place in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, the colossal ceremonial building in Tiananmen Square built as a symbol of power for the Chinese Communist Party. Both leaders stressed that the relationship between Russia and China "is not only of fundamental interest to the two countries and the two peoples, but is also conducive to peace."

This message of peace was a direct reference to the situation in Ukraine. This same week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Kiev to reassure Zelensky of the commitment to send new weapons and military aid packages with the aim of stopping the Russian advance. The previous week, the Russian armed forces launched an offensive in the Kharkiv region in the northeast of the country. As a result, Russia has significantly gained territory in Ukraine for the first time in months.

"Our cooperation in international affairs is one of the factors of stability on the international scene," Putin said, according to the television broadcast by Russian media, reported by AFP. In another address to the media, given after their first meeting, Putin and Xi Jinping added that their wish is to find a peaceful and political solution to the conflict in Ukraine. "Both sides agree that the path forward is a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine," declared Xi Jinping, standing alongside Putin in front of journalists.