China’s newly selected president Xi Jinping picks Moscow for first official visit

Sydney, Feb 22: China’s newly selected president, Xi Jinping has picked Russian capital Moscow for his first official visit in the office, to be followed immediately by a trip to South Africa for a summit of the group of top emerging-market countries.

Jinping’s predecessor, Hu Jintao, also chose Moscow as his first overseas stop after assuming office, but this time, Jinping’s journey to Russia has a special implication, according to the analysts, who see it coming as China tries to answer the Obama administration’s turn to Asia, the Age reports.

The US policy is viewed with doubt in Beijing and is broadly interpreted unfavorably by the Chinese government as containment of China, it said.

According to the analysts, by going to Russia, Jinping will be working to ensure that China’s relationship with Moscow, a sometimes spiky affair and one in which the balance of power has radically tilted in favour of China, is in good shape before he meets with President Barack Obama later in the year.

There have also been indications that Jinping and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, would try to seal a long-sought energy deal that would provide China with Russian oil and gas.

Jin Canrong, associate dean at the School of International Studies at Renmin University said China wants to consolidate its position with Russia before dealing with the United States.

Canrong added in particular China will likely look for Russian support in its territorial dispute with Japan, a US ally, over islands in the East China Sea. (ANI)