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Chinese leader Xi Jinping is planning to visit Moscow for a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 21, citing people familiar with the matter.
Xi's meeting with Putin will be a part of a push for multilateral peace negotiations as Beijing claims it wants to play a more active role in ending the war against Ukraine, the WSJ sources said.
The visit will also reportedly allow China to reiterate its calls not to use nuclear weapons.
According to the people familiar with Xi's plans, preparations for the visit are at an early stage, and its timing has not yet been determined.
Xi may travel to Russia in April or early May, when Russia will celebrate the victory in World War II, the sources told the WSJ.
Meanwhile, China's top diplomat Wang Yi arrived in Moscow on Feb. 21 to meet the country's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other officials, Russian state-owned news outlet TASS reported.
A senior Chinese official's first visit to Russia since the start of Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine comes shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden's surprise trip to Kyiv on Feb. 20.
At the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 18, Wang said that China would launch its peace initiative on the one-year anniversary of Russia's all-out war on Feb. 24, as quoted by the Guardian.
Western officials have expressed skepticism about Bejing's announced peace plan.
According to multiple reports, officials in Washington D.C. are concerned that China might consider supplying Moscow with "lethal support," such as weaponry.
Earlier on Feb. 4, the Wall Street Journal reported that China had provided Russia's army with military means despite sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.