After conversations between the leaders in Moscow this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping & Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a lengthy statement in which they declared their broad agreement on several subjects and their mutual scepticism of the United States.
Notwithstanding Putin’s increasing isolation on the international scene as Russia’s tragic war rages on into its second year, the conference, which took place in the shadow of Russia’s assault on Ukraine, left no doubt about Beijing’s determination to establish its relationship with Moscow. Also, it did not contribute to the resolution of that war.
Instead, Xi’s three-day stay in the Russian capital, which ended on Wednesday, gave the two self-described “friends” a chance to highlight their strong friendship.
According to a Kremlin list, the meeting resulted in more than a dozen agreements to strengthen collaboration in trade, technology, and state propaganda. The main message from the leaders concentrated on how the two nations will “deepen” their friendship.
In contrast to Xi’s visit, another significant diplomatic trip to the area took place.
Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan and an ally of the United States, arrived in Ukraine on Tuesday to meet Ukrainian President Vlodomyr Zelensky, underscoring the extent to which the crisis in Europe has widened differences in Asia.
Due to the sessions, there was no progress in resolving the situation in Ukraine.
According to a joint statement issued by both leaders, measures that “raise tensions” and “prolong” the crisis in Ukraine must stop.
The presidents also asked NATO to “respect the sovereignty, security, and interests” of other nations, reiterating long-standing claims from both nations that the Western security alliance instigated Russia’s invasion.
China had recently released its stand on a “political solution” to the war, asking for a truce and peace negotiations, appearing to establish its role as a peace mediator.
During the meetings on Tuesday, Putin told reporters that “many of the terms” may “be accepted as the basis” for a peaceful resolution in Ukraine “when the Western and Kyiv were ready for it.”
Nevertheless, the suggestion has been dismissed mostly in the West and Ukraine since it doesn’t require Moscow to remove its soldiers.
The fight would “just freeze,” according to Zelensky on Tuesday, allowing Russia time to “prepare and revert home again and with their single objective, the objective of their commander — that is to invade our nation.”
After a state dinner with Putin on Tuesday night, Xi sent a farewell message reaffirming his belief that the balance of power in the world is shifting.
The two authoritarian leaders pledged to work together to “safeguard the international system” and the United Nations, where they have a history of blocking motions, including those against actors like North Korea. They called for the promotion of a “multipolar world,” a buzzword for a system not governed by the so Western values and rules.
However, they made many jabs at Washington, including one in which they urged the country to “stop undermining global strategic stability and regional and global security in order to retain its very own unilateral military superiority.”
Both presidents focused on perceived threats from organisations like NATO and AUKUS, a security agreement that includes Australia, the U.k., and the United States, as well as its consequences for Asia.
In their joint statement, Xi and Putin voiced “severe concerns” about NATO’s “continued deepening of military-security cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries”. They said they “oppose external military troops harming regional peace and stability.”
The US has strengthened its Indo-Pacific footprint and ties with its regional partners as China’s assertiveness, mostly in the South China Sea, has risen.