Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Russia this week to attend celebrations marking the 70 anniversary of Victory Day (the end of the World War II in the European theater). According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Xi will visit Kazakhstan on May 7 then spend May 8-10 in Russia. He will end his trip with a state visit to Belarus from May 10-12. With this trip, Xi will have visited Russia every year since being officially named president in 2013.
Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have long had plans to attend each other’s commemoration ceremonies, a point of particular importance as many Western countries are not expected to attend either China or Russia’s events due to existing tensions. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told reporters on Monday that Xi will attend the military parade to be held in Moscow’s Red Square, lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and attend a welcome banquet.
Cheng emphasized that China and Russia “made huge sacrifice and great contribution to the victory of the WWII [sic].” Both China and Russia have also laid claim to being the true protectors of the post-war international order, accusing the West (and, in China’s case, Japan) of seeking to undermine the post-war achievements.