China and Russia reaffirm ties as Moscow presses offensive in Ukraine

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BEIJING, May 16, (AP): Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked Chinese leader Xi Jinping Thursday for China’s proposals on ending the war in Ukraine, which have been rejected by Ukraine and its Western supporters as largely following the Kremlin’s line.
At their summit, Putin and Xi reaffirmed a “no-limits” partnership that has grown deeper as both countries face deepening tensions with the West.
Putin’s two-day state visit to one of his strongest allies comes as his country’s forces are pressing an offensive in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv region in the most significant border incursion since the full-scale invasion began.
China claims to take a neutral position in the conflict, but it has backed Moscow’s contentions that Russia was provoked into attacking Ukraine by the West, and continues to supply Russia with key components that Moscow needs for its productions of weapons.
A joint statement after Putin and Xi met said that both sides believe that for “a sustainable settlement of the Ukrainian crisis it is necessary to eliminate its root causes.”
Russia has said that the war was sparked not only by the threat posed to Russia by Ukraine and its backers but as necessary to wipe out alleged Nazism in Ukraine. It was not clear if the joint statement’s wording meant China was explicitly endorsing the Russian allegation of Nazi influence in Ukraine.
China proposed a broadly worded peace plan in 2023, calling for a ceasefire and for direct talks between Moscow and Kyiv. But the plan was rejected by both Ukraine and the West for failing to call for Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine.
The largely symbolic visit stressed partnership between two countries who both face challenges in their relationship with the US and Europe.

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