China’s President Xi Jinping left Beijing on May 7 on a trip that will take him to Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus.
After a brief stop in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on May 7, Xi plans to travel to Moscow to attend a Victory Day parade on May 9 marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.
Although diplomats from around the world are due to attend the Moscow parade, most Western leaders are boycotting the event in protest against Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine and the Kremlin’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
Xi also plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during his stay in Moscow from May 8-10.
From May 10-12, Xi is visiting Minsk at the invitation of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Chinese officials say Xi’s talks with leaders of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus will focus on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and development projects with existing economic initiatives.