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Putin concludes China visit with emphasis on ties with Russia

Putin concludes China visit with emphasis on ties with Russia

 


Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded a two-day visit to China on Friday, focusing on the two countries' burgeoning strategic ties as well as his own personal relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they sought to present a alternative to the global influence of the United States.

Putin praised the growth of bilateral trade during his visit to the China-Russia expo in Harbin, in the northeast of the country. He met with students from the Harbin Institute of Technology, which reportedly works closely with the People's Liberation Army.

Harbin, capital of China's Heilongjiang province, was once home to many Russian expatriates and retains some of that history in its architecture, such as the central St. Sophia Cathedral, a former Russian Orthodox church.

Speaking to reporters, Putin thanked Xi and praised the content of their talks, saying he had spent almost an entire day, from morning to evening, with the Chinese leader and other officials in Beijing the day before.

Vladimir Poutine.
Vladimir Putin at the Church of the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the northeastern city of Harbin.Alexandre Ryumin/ Sputnik / / AFP – Getty Images

The partnership between China and Russia is not directed against anyone, Mr. Putin said in a veiled reference to the West. Its goal is to create better conditions for the development of our countries and improve the well-being of the people of China and the Russian Federation.

But he still delivered a roundabout rebuke to the United States and other opponents of Moscow-Beijing relations, asserting that an emerging multipolar world…is now taking shape before our eyes.

And it is important that those trying to maintain their monopoly on decision-making in the world on all issues do everything in their power to make this process happen naturally, he said.

Russia and China have frequently spoken of the emergence of a multipolar world in response to what they see as American hegemony.

Joseph Torigian, a researcher at Stanford University's Hoover Institute, said the message China and Russia are sending is clear: Right now, they are reminding the West that they can be provocative whenever they want. .

Students listen to Vladimir Putin.
Students listen to Vladimir Putin during his visit to the Harbin Institute of Technology in northeast China's Heilongjiang province on Friday.Mikhail Metzel / AP

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu addressed Putin's visit in an interview with The Associated Press, saying Western powers should continue to support Ukraine in sending a message that democracies will defend each other.

If Ukraine is ultimately defeated, I think China will take inspiration from this and could take even more ambitious steps to expand its power in the Indo-Pacific, which would be disastrous for the international community, said Wu.

Putin began his fifth term in power this month and Xi began his third last year.

The Russian leaders' trip is an example of how two major authoritarian countries support each other, work together and support each other's expansionism, Wu added.

Russia found itself isolated globally after the invasion of Ukraine in 2022. China has tense relations with the United States, which calls it a competitor, and faces pressure to continue supplying Russia with key components needed for weapons production.

Vladimir Putin and Han Zheng at the Russian-Chinese EXPO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Vice President Han Zheng visit the Russian-Chinese EXPO on Friday.Sergei Bobylev / Kremlin swimming pool via AP

Putin began the day by laying flowers at a monument in Harbin dedicated to fallen Soviet soldiers who fought for China against the Japanese in the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Japan occupied parts of China.

At the trade exhibition in Harbin, Putin highlighted the importance of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the joint development of new technologies.

By building on our traditions of friendship and cooperation, we can look to the future with confidence, he said. The Russian-Chinese partnership contributes to the economic growth of our countries, ensures energy security, contributes to the development of production and the creation of new jobs.

A joint statement released Thursday outlines their worldview and outlines criticism of U.S. military alliances in Asia and the Pacific.

The meeting was a further affirmation of the boundless friendly relationship that China and Russia signed in 2022, just before Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Discussions about ending the fighting were frequently discussed Thursday, even though Russia has opened a new front by launching attacks in Ukraine's northeastern border area. The war is at a critical point for Ukraine, which has faced delays in arms supplies to the United States.

China proposed a sweeping peace plan last year that was rejected by both Ukraine and the West for failing to call on Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine.

Since the invasion of Moscow and subsequent Western sanctions against Moscow, Russia has become increasingly dependent on China. Trade between the two countries reached $240 billion (189 billion) last year.

European leaders pressured China to influence Russia to end its invasion, to no avail. Experts say Moscow-Beijing relations offer strategic advantages, particularly when both countries experience tensions with Europe and the United States.

Even if China compromises on a range of issues, including reducing its support for Russia, the United States or the West are unlikely to radically change their attitude toward China as a competitor , said Hoo Tiang Boon, who studies Chinese foreign policy at Nanyang Technological in Singapore. University.

They see very little incentive to compromise.

Xi and Putin have a long-standing agreement to visit each other once a year, and Xi was welcomed to the Kremlin last year.

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