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Russian-Chinese ties: exchanges of hugs? White House jokes about Putin-Xi meeting

Russian-Chinese ties: exchanges of hugs?  White House jokes about Putin-Xi meeting


The White House said Friday it had seen no surprising progress in China-Russia relations, despite Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping exchanging hugs during a visit to Beijing.

“Exchanging hugs? Well, that's good for them,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at a press briefing when asked about the significance of the photos showing the two adversaries. Americans entwined in an embrace.

“I'm not good at talking about personal human bodily affection, one way or another. I think I'll leave it to these two men to explain why they thought it was good to s 'kiss,' said Kirby, a naval admiral known for his dry remarks from the podium.

The United States has repeatedly expressed concerns that Chinese companies are supplying Russia with technology needed for its invasion of Ukraine.

But Kirby said Putin's visit did not appear to have brought major progress in that regard and that Washington did not see Xi “rushing” to help Moscow's armed forces.

“We haven’t seen anything come out of this meeting that would surprise us,” he said.

But he added that “I wouldn't go so far as to say we weren't concerned about this relationship and the future of this relationship. We're watching.”

Putin arrived Thursday on his first foreign trip since his re-election in March, meeting Xi for talks in which the leaders touted ties between their nations as a stabilizing force in a chaotic world.

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Published: May 18, 2024, 06:45 IST




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