Chinese dictator Xi Jinping emphasized on Monday that his visit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, charged with human rights crimes before the International Criminal Court (ICC) less than a week ago, is intended to promote “friendship, cooperation, and peace,” positioning China as a mediator in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Xi will be in Moscow from Monday to Wednesday, meeting with Putin and other senior leaders. Xi has emphasized China’s potential role in the Ukraine crisis since arriving, promoting a Chinese “peace plan” debuted last month that demands a ceasefire, lays no blame on either side, and does not offer specificity on its demand for both sides to “calm down as soon as possible.”
Arriving on Monday, Xi vowed that China would “stand guard over the world order,” hinting at ambitions to mediate the Ukraine conflict.
Both Russia and Ukraine have offered tepid reactions to the peace plan but have encouraged Beijing to get more involved in the conflict in the role of mediator. If successful in halting some of the hostilities, Xi could use Ukraine to greatly elevate China’s international reputation as peacemaker, even as China continues to execute a years-long genocide on its own people.