tirsdag 28. februar 2023

China is rolling out the red carpet for a key Putin ally as US warns against aiding Russia’s war

China is preparing to welcome a key autocratic ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin for a state visit, amid warnings from United States officials that Beijing may be considering aiding Moscow in its ongoing assault on Ukraine. Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese officials in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday at the invitation of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, China’s Foreign Ministry announced Sunday.

His trip comes after the two leaders agreed to upgrade their countries’ ties to an “all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership” during a September meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan, which Putin also attended.

The visit from Lukashenko – who allowed Russian troops to use Belarus to stage their initial incursion into Ukraine last year – comes as tensions between the US and China have intensified in recent weeks, including over concerns from Washington that Beijing is considering sending lethal aid to the Kremlin’s struggling war effort.