China's top diplomat Wang Yi arrived in Moscow on Tuesday for his final stop in an eight-day international tour that included visits to France, Italy, Hungary, and Germany. Wang, named Chinese leader Xi Jinping's top foreign policy adviser last month, will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday.
Meeting with Russian Security Council Head
Wang met with the head of Russia's Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, on Tuesday, and both officials agreed to oppose "the Cold War mentality, bloc confrontation, and ideological opposition" and to make more efforts to "improve global governance." The two also "exchanged their opinions" on the issue of Ukraine.
Impact on the War in Ukraine
Wang's trip to Moscow comes after US President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine and after US officials expressed concerns about the impact of China's partnership with Russia on the war in Ukraine. The Chinese leadership has claimed impartiality in the conflict but refused to condemn Russia's invasion and continued to expand trade ties and conduct joint military exercises.
China as a Proponent of Peace and Negotiation
During his engagements in European cities, Wang built on China's framing of itself as a proponent of peace and negotiation. At the Munich Security Conference, he said that Beijing would release its position on a "political settlement" of the crisis. However, these remarks were met with suspicion from some Western leaders.
China's Message on Ukraine
On Tuesday, China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang reiterated Beijing's messaging on Ukraine and said that China was "deeply concerned" the conflict would spiral "out of control." He urged peace talks and offered "Chinese wisdom" to bring about a political settlement while urging relevant countries to stop adding fuel to the fire and shifting blame to China.