Putin arrives in China to meet President Xi on a rare international trip by the Russian leader who still has an arrest warrant for him
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to meet his Chinese counterpart and “dear friend” Xi Jinping for a trip aimed at highlighting the “no borders” partnership between China and Russia.
Putin and his entourage flew into Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday morning in the Kremlin head’s first official trip outside the former Soviet Union this year, according to Reuters video footage.
Putin has traveled little abroad since the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March, accusing him of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. Putin visited Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, earlier this month.
The ICC decision obliges the Court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory. Neither Kyrgyzstan nor China are members of the ICC, established to prosecute war crimes.
Xi last saw his “dear friend” in Moscow just days after the order was issued. At the time, Xi invited Putin to attend the third Belt and Road forum in Beijing, an international cooperation forum championed by the Chinese leader. Putin will meet with Xi on Wednesday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (pictured right) shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 – as they seek to further deepen the ‘no-limits’ partnership between their two countries
Beijing has rejected Western criticism of its partnership with Moscow even as the war in Ukraine showed no signs of letting up, insisting that their ties do not violate international norms and that China has the right to cooperate with any country it chooses.
Putin last visited China for the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022, when Russia and China declared a “no-limits” partnership, days before the Russian president sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine.
It would be Putin’s third participation in the Belt and Road Forum, which runs until Wednesday. He attended the two previous forums in 2017 and 2019.