Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. China insists that Putin has legal immunity as head of state and asks the ICC to respect this immunity. Photo/Sputnik/Sergei Karpukhin/Pool via REUTERS
BEIJING – Government China emphasized the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has legal immunity as a head of state.
This assertion was in response to a decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague which issued an arrest warrant for the Kremlin leader on suspicion of war crimes in Ukraine .
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the ICC must uphold an objective and impartial attitude. “And respect the immunity of the head of state from jurisdiction based on international law,” he said in a press conference, Monday.
Wang called on the ICC to avoid what he called “double standard” practices and politicization. He stressed the fact that the Ukrainian conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and negotiations.
Like Russia and the United States (US), China is not a signatory to the Rome Statute – the UN agreement governing the ICC.
On Friday, the ICC announced that it was issuing an arrest warrant against Putin accused of the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children, an act that amounts to a war crime under international law.
Moscow rejected and condemned the ICC’s decision, calling the arrest warrant null and void.
The warrant was issued by the ICC just days before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia, an official trip that the Chinese prime minister described as a “journey of friendship, cooperation and peace”.
Xi Jinping landed in Moscow on Monday, where he held meetings with Putin and signed a deal before he heads home to Beijing on Wednesday.
“The two sides will practice true multilateralism, promote democracy in international relations, build a multipolar world, enhance global governance, and contribute to the development and progress of the world,” Wang said, as quoted from the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website, Tuesday (21/3) /2023).
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