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Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow shows he sees ties with Russia as priority — analyst

However, he is also trying to appease investors and stabilize China's relationship with Europe, said Jessica Chen Weiss, a professor of Chinese studies at Cornell University in New York

NEW YORK, March 23. /TASS/. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow reflects the emphasis that he places on relations with Russia to offset the rising pressure on Beijing from the US, Jessica Chen Weiss, a professor for China studies at Cornell University in New York, said in comments provided to TASS.

"Xi’s visit to Moscow reflects the continuing premium he places on partnering with Russia against what he has called US efforts to contain and suppress China," she said. "However, he is also trying to reassure investors and stabilize China’s relationship with Europe, which helps explain China’s efforts to put forward a position paper on a peace settlement for Ukraine and anticipated virtual engagement with [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky."

According to the analyst, "It will be very difficult for Xi to thread the needle between strengthening his partnership with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin without doing greater damage to China’s relations in Europe."

"Reports of Chinese munitions in Ukraine will create pressure for additional sanctions on Chinese entities," she added.

"China’s importance as the second largest economy in the world, combined with the possibility that China could eventually play a role in brokering or securing a settlement, may be enough to prevent Zelensky and other European leaders from turning their backs on China altogether," Weiss said.

Xi Jinping made a state visit to Russia on March 20-22, his first foreign trip after re-election as Chinese president. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the president of China talked one-on-one for about 4 1/2 hours, and on Tuesday Xi Jinping spent about 6 hours at talks of various formats in the Kremlin. Following the visit, the leaders of the countries signed two statements. Putin and Xi Jinping called the meeting a success.