A Strong Camaraderie!
Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands as they attend a signing ceremony following a meeting in expanded format at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 16 May 2024. EFE-EPA/SERGEY BOBYLEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

A Strong Camaraderie!


By Jesús Centeno.- Beijing, May 16 (EFE).-

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, showcased their strong camaraderie at a summit in Beijing on Thursday, dampening Western hopes of Beijing pressuring Moscow to ease up on Ukraine.

Following his meeting with Putin, Xi told reporters that both sides agreed that “a political solution” to the war in Ukraine was “the right path.”

The solution, as China has advocated in recent months, would involve holding a conference “recognized by all parties” to resume dialogue, especially at a time when Russian troops are advancing almost daily in Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine.

China has not yet registered for the peace conference on Ukraine, scheduled for June in Switzerland. Russia is unlikely to attend, deeming it “futile” for overlooking its interests.

However, Xi expressed China’s hope for “peace and stability to be restored in the European continent,” affirming that his country would continue to “play a constructive role.”

The West has greeted Chinese proposals for a ceasefire in Ukraine with skepticism.

In Kyiv, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on Wednesday that Beijing was “assisting” Moscow in producing more tanks, armored vehicles, and missiles by supplying key parts and electronic components for warfare.

Beijing, which has refrained from condemning the Russian invasion and opposes “unilateral sanctions” against Moscow, denies selling weaponry to Russia.

It asserts that it maintains a “normal” trade ties with Russia and continues to deepen its alliance without derailing its relationship with Europe.

Putin said Chinese proposals demonstrated “sincere desire” to stabilize the situation and an approach that avoided a “Cold War mentality.”

“Defending justice in the world”

During the bilateral meeting, Xi asserted that China’s ties with Russia serve as “an example” for other powers, obliquely referring to the United States.

He said the China-Russia relationship was based on “respect and candor,” arguing that the ties “favor peace, stability, and prosperity in the world.”

In the meeting, preceded by a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and the symbolic Tiananmen Square, Xi recalled that he had met with Putin “more than 40 times” and that they maintained “close communication.”

“We will continue to strengthen our friendship and uphold justice in the world,” Xi said, with Putin’s attentive gaze.

Putin arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport past 4 am time on his first foreign visit after his re-election for a fifth term.

Following their meeting, the two leaders signed a joint declaration to “deepen” their “strategic coordination partnership” on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. They also agreed on cooperation agreements in various fields.

Xi cited the economy and trade, investment, energy, and people-to-people exchanges as areas that have “positively contributed to maintaining global stability and promoting greater democracy in international relations.”

Putin highlighted the expansion of bilateral commerce, noting that the proportion of the ruble and the yuan in Russo-Chinese trade transactions “already exceeds 90 percent.”

“We can say that bilateral trade and investments are reliably protected against the negative influence of third countries and negative trends in global currency markets,” he stated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a signing ceremony following a meeting in expanded format at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, 16 May 2024. EFE-EPA/SERGEY BOBYLEV / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL

A “multipolar” world

The Chinese president highlighted that both countries seek to “deepen their strategic coordination, expand cooperation, and follow the historical trend of multipolarity,” a repeated many times during the meetings.

This is Putin’s second visit in less than a year after attending the New Silk Road conference in October 2023.

Putin advocated for “improving global economic governance” and for “reforming and depoliticizing multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the G20” to “adapt them to modern realities.”

Putin will continue his visit in the Chinese city of Harbin, the capital of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, to discuss the Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, designed to connect Russia and China through Mongolia, according to the South China Morning Post. EFE


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