SINGAPORE—China’s top diplomat was set to begin a four-day visit to Russia after a surprise stopover in Malta for weekend talks with White House officials, as Beijing lays the groundwork for separate meetings between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his U.S. and Russian counterparts.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin is expected to visit China in October—his first trip abroad since the International Criminal Court in March issued an arrest warrant over his role in the forced deportation of children from Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine. Anticipation is growing that Xi and President Biden could meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco the following month.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s trip follows on the heels of several meetings with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan in Malta this past weekend. The previously unannounced Malta talks came after the pair held a secret meeting in Vienna in May.
That meeting followed months of tensions over a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that drifted across the U.S., derailing plans by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to make his first visit to China in February. The Vienna talks helped set the stage for the revival of high-level contacts that unfolded over the summer with the Beijing visits by Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, special climate envoy John Kerry and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo despite criticisms from Republican lawmakers, who say Biden appears to be making concessions without any response in kind from China.Read more on livemint.com