Li Zhanshu, China’s top lawmaker, will travel to Russia next week, according to state media, making him the highest-ranking Communist Party official to visit the nation since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
As a counterbalance to the dominance of the United States, Beijing and Moscow have grown closer in recent years, stepping up collaboration as part of what they refer to as a “no limits” partnership.
As a result of Beijing’s refusal to denounce Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and its vehement criticism of Western sanctions and weaponry transfers to Kiev, tensions between China and the West have grown.
According to the official Xinhua news agency, Li, who is third in the Chinese government’s hierarchy, will make official visits to South Korea, Russia, Mongolia, and Nepal between Wednesday and September 17.
He will attend the Eastern Economic Forum due to be held over four days from Monday in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok, Xinhua reported.
At a historic summit next month, where President Xi Jinping is anticipated to secure a record-breaking third consecutive term in office, Li, 72, is likely to announce his retirement from the Communist Party.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020, Xi personally has not left China.