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China and Russia strengthen partnership to counter US influence

China and Russia strengthen partnership to counter US influence

 


Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded his two-day visit to China on Friday after Beijing and Moscow reaffirmed their strategic relationship by signing a joint declaration and pledging to cooperate against destructive and hostile pressure from Washington.

During meetings between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Russian president said Moscow was willing to work with Beijing and other countries in the South for a multipolar world, while Xi said the two countries were determined to steer global governance in the right direction.

Some analysts say Putin and Xi are trying to emphasize that the close partnership between Beijing and Moscow is a positive force in the global system.

Both leaders want to emphasize that they are creating a more equal environment and an inclusive global economic and political system, said Philipp Ivanov, a China-Russia analyst and founder of consultancy Geo Political Risks + Strategy Practice.

In addition to questioning the current US-led world order, Putin and Xi criticized the US and NATO for creating negative effects on regional peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. by creating closed and exclusive groups and expanding their military presence.

In the current geopolitical context, it is necessary to explore the establishment of a sustainable security system in the Eurasian space based on the principle of equal and indivisible security, reads the joint statement signed by Xi and Putin .

The Russian national flag flies next to the Chinese flag in front of the Tiananmen Gate next to Tiananmen Square during Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit to Beijing on May 16, 2024.

The Russian national flag flies next to the Chinese flag in front of the Tiananmen Gate next to Tiananmen Square during Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit to Beijing on May 16, 2024.

Some experts say Putin and Xi view the expansion of Washington and NATO's military presence in Asia as a zero-sum game. The logic of military balance is at the heart of their vision of international order and their target is the United States' network of military alliances, said Mathieu Duchatel, director of international studies at the Institut Montaigne.

He told VOA that one of Xi and Putin's goals in maintaining their partnership is to undermine Washington's alliance networks in Asia.

The limits of Beijing

As Switzerland prepares to host a peace summit dedicated to the war in Ukraine next month, Xi and Putin also exchanged views on the ongoing conflict during their meeting on Thursday.

They believe that the war must be resolved through a political settlement. In a statement released by China's official Xinhua news agency, Xi said the fundamental solution to the war is to establish a new security architecture that is balanced, effective and sustainable.

He added that China supports an international peace conference recognized by Russia and Ukraine at an appropriate time, with equal participation and fair discussion of all options.

Putin said Moscow appreciates Beijing's objective, fair and balanced position on the Ukrainian issue and asserted that Russia is determined to resolve the Ukrainian issue through political negotiations.

Ivanov said China's current efforts to help resolve the war in Ukraine, including a 12-point peace plan released last February, suggest Beijing is trying to avoid making any commitments. The peace plan is a diplomatic document rather than a substantive strategy for China's participation in resolving this war, he told VOA.

Since neither Russia nor Ukraine is ready to negotiate, Ivanov believes there is little China can do to end the war. I have not seen any concrete steps from China to try to resolve the war. I am skeptical about Switzerland's peace conference and China's peace plan, he said.

Lack of effective pressure on China

The meeting between Xi and Putin came after a five-day trip by Xi to Europe, during which some analysts say Beijing was trying to exploit disunity within the European Union.

It also follows repeated warnings from the United States about the potential consequences of Beijing's continued support for Russia's war against Ukraine.

At a news conference Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters that China cannot support Russian war efforts while simultaneously trying to improve relations with Russia. 'West.

He cannot have both tables and wants to have [better] relations with Europe and other countries while continuing to fuel the greatest threat to European security in a long time, he said.

Some experts say China's decision to maintain its partnership with Russia reflects Beijing's belief that Western warnings about possible sanctions against Chinese entities supporting Russia's war efforts may not come to fruition. .

I think Beijing believes that Europe can't do anything, that's why they are asking Europe to show its hand, Ja Ian Chong, a political scientist at the National University of Singapore, told VOA by phone.

He said the United States appears more serious about imposing potential secondary sanctions against Chinese entities, while the European Union struggles to determine its response to Beijing's support for Moscow.

An upward trajectory of the partnership

Given Washington's repeated warnings of sanctions against Chinese entities that support Russia's war efforts, Ivanov said Putin would try to safeguard Russia's economic relations with China through his visit.

I am quite confident that there is an active debate on how to circumvent sanctions, and we will likely see more import-export transactions and activities going through third countries, such as those in Central Asia, a he told VOA, adding that one of China and Russia. The objective is to build a geoeconomic system sheltered from Western sanctions and export controls.

Despite attempts by Western countries to pressure or persuade China to stop supporting Russia, Ivanov and Duchatel say Beijing will continue to maintain its partnership with Moscow.

There is no indication that Russia's access to Chinese dual-use technology has been seriously reduced, and no actions by China suggest a reduced commitment to supporting Russia, Duchatel told VOA.

Ivanov said that while there might be disagreements between China and Russia, the general direction of their partnership was upward. I don't think the United States or Europe can substantially influence the course of the Sino-Russian partnership at the moment, he said.

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