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Putin and China's top diplomat pledge to strengthen ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Maksim Blinov
Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

BEIJING — Russian President Vladimir Putin met China's top diplomat in Moscow on Wednesday. According to a Chinese statement following the meeting, the two sides lauded their cooperation and pledged to strengthen their coordination.

China maintains close ties with Russia — and has never condemned the invasion of Ukraine.

But Beijing says it wants there to be a political solution to the war. And Chinese Politburo member Wang Yi told Putin on Wednesday that he appreciated Russia's affirmation of its willingness to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiation. He said China would play a constructive role.

On bilateral ties, Wang said China is willing to work with Russia to deepen mutual political trust, strengthen strategic coordination, expand cooperation, and safeguard each others' interests.

The meeting comes just days before the anniversary of the invasion, and after some reports that Chinese leader Xi Jinping may visit Russia in the coming months.

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John Ruwitch
John Ruwitch is a correspondent with NPR's international desk. He covers Chinese affairs.