China’s number 3 leader Li Zhanshu to visit Russia next week

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Li Zhanshu, no. 3 leader of China, is due to visit Russia next week, as per reports in Chinese state media on Sunday (September 4). Li will thus become the highest-ranking Communist Party politician to travel to Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

China and Russia, as part of what they call a “no limits” relationship, have ramped up co-operation and drawn closer as a counterweight to US.

China has not condemned Russia’s Ukraine invasion and has even provided diplomatic cover by blasting Western sanctions.

Li will embark on official visit to Russia, Mongolia, Nepal and South Korea from Wednesday until September 17, according to the official Xinhua news agency. He will attend Eastern Economic Forum due to be held from Monday in Russia’s far eastern city Vladivostok.

Li, 72, is likely to retire from his role in the Communist Party at a landmark conference next month, where President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a precedent-busting third consecutive term in office.

Xi himself has not left China since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020.

(With inputs from agencies)

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