Belarus’ Lukashenko Meets With China’s Xi In Beijing

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the two countries continue to strengthen their political and economic ties. This recent visit marks Lukashenko and Xi’s second meeting this year.

According to Xinhua News Agency, an official Chinese news outlet, Xi and Lukashenko discussed various topics. Xi spoke about a “strengthened political mutual trust and international coordination” with Belarus.

China wants to make Belarus a member of its “Belt and Road Initiative”, which is set to help build infrastructure with various nations. However, Belarus has a state-controlled economy, which some analysts believe may play a factor in harming the country’s increased economic ties with China.

Regardless, Belarus does work to continue to strengthen its relationship with China. Because of its support for Russia during the invasion of Ukraine, many Western nations have put sanctions on Belarus. This has left the European country increasingly isolated, which has led to Belarus wanting to create stronger ties with China, which has the second-largest economy in the world.

Before Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, Belarus allowed Russian troops to use Belarus as a staging ground. Russian military equipment was also reportedly housed there right before the invasion.

Belarus has also been accused of facilitating Russia’s effort to take Ukrainian children and “re-educate” them. According to a Yale University study, more than 2,400 Ukrainian children have been taken to Belarus from Ukraine by Russian forces.

Belarus’ continued strong ties to Russia have crippled its economy, thanks to many Western sanctions. China seemingly addressed these sanctions, as Xinhua stated that Xi said he “opposes external interference in Belarus’ internal affairs.”

Belarus remains heavily reliant on Russia, especially when it comes to trade. However, Lukashenko seems intent on enhancing cooperation between Belarus and China. Reporting confirms that Lukashenko said he wanted to quicken the pace of the cooperation between the two countries.

Xinhua also reported that Xi talked about this cooperation and said, “The two sides should implement projects like the China-Belarus Industrial Park and promote more achievements in China-Belarus industrial cooperation.”

Reporting confirms that the two also discussed the “Ukraine crisis”, though there are no details about what, exactly, the two leaders discussed regarding Ukraine.

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