On the fringes of a summit in Uzbekistan on Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and said that China and Russia will work together to “instill stability and constructive energy in a chaotic world.”
President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping met on Thursday after Moscow’s big defeat on the battlefield. He praised him for his “balanced” approach to the Ukrainian conflict while denouncing Washington’s “ugly” methods.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the world leaders have not met in person until now.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a regional security body comprised of the nations of Russia, China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Russia’s Putin to China’s Xi: We’ll cooperate as “big powers.”
In recent months, Xi and Putin have been battling the Covid-19 pandemic’s impacts, spoken on the phone countless times, and maintained outstanding strategic communications.
He said, “We are very eager to use this summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to exchange ideas with you on global and regional problems of shared concern.”
Putin commended China’s “balanced” stance toward Ukraine. Without elaborating on the potential worries China may have made on Ukraine, Putin added, “We understand your concerns.”
Putin’s sporadic reference to Chinese concerns comes when Beijing is concerned about the effects of volatile oil prices and the ongoing economic uncertainty caused by the Ukraine conflict, which lasted almost seven months.
Without mentioning Ukraine specifically, a statement from the Chinese government said that Xi had pledged to “strongly support” Russia’s “core interests.” Even though the statement gave no additional details, Beijing uses the term “core interests” to allude to issues like national sovereignty and the Communist Party’s aggressive claim to Taiwan.
Ned Price, a representative for the US State Department, described Putin’s apparent admission as “shocking” but added that China’s worries are understandable given its verbal maneuverings to avoid criticizing the Russian incursion.
In a jab at the United States, the Russian President said, “Attempts to forge a unipolar world have recently assumed an utterly hideous form and are wholly unacceptable.”
Putin added that regarding the Taiwan dispute, Russia upholds the idea of a single China. Putin stated, “We condemn the US and their satellites’ provocations in the Taiwan Strait.”
After the meeting, Sergey Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, claimed that Beijing and Moscow had “completely coincided” in their views of the world situation. “There are no differences among us.”
He went on and stated that both parties will continue to “coordinate” their actions, including in the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.
The discussions, according to Lavrov, were “extremely business-like and concrete, with a discussion of duties for several ministries and agencies,” and he called them “great.”
The Biden administration saw the Putin-Xi conversations as a component of a rapprochement that has alarmed Washington.
What power does this relationship hold?
According to one political observer, China is in the “dominant position” in its relations with Russia, and President Xi Jinping is no longer willing to let Moscow “act as it pleases.”
Matthew Sussex, an associate professor at Griffith University in Australia, described the relationship as “an uneven collaboration” where China holds the dominating position. He explained it by saying that China needs Russia more than Russia needs China.
According to Chinese state-backed media outlet Xinhua, Xi stated that Beijing was “willing to work with Russia” during the meeting so that they could support each other’s “core interests,” which it listed as trade, agriculture, and connectivity.
But Sussex emphasized that collaboration between China and Russia could not always be equal.
While acquiring cheap energy from Russia, China has consistently denied supplying Moscow with weapons. According to Sussex, this could signify that Beijing is “some serious concerns and real displeasure” with Russia about how the crisis is being handled.
As per a New York Times report from August, the war has so far claimed roughly 34,000 lives, with Russia losing an estimated 25,000 soldiers on the battlefield while Ukraine lost 9,000 men. The attack on Ukraine has been referred to by Moscow as a “special operation” numerous times.
Nevertheless, the strategic alliance between China and Russia will endure, according to Xiaoyu Pu, an associate professor at the University of Nevada.