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Putin concludes China trip by highlighting his strategic and personal ties to Russia | Don't miss this

Putin concludes China trip by highlighting his strategic and personal ties to Russia |  Don't miss this


BEIJING (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded a two-day visit to China Friday, highlighting the two countries' burgeoning strategic ties as well as his own personal relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they sought to present an alternative to U.S. global influence.

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, known for its defense research and work 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.

Underscoring the personal nature of the relationship, Putin said the Harbin institute and his alma mater, St. Petersburg State University, would open a joint school for 1,500 students. I am sure that it will become the flagship of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the scientific and educational fields, he said.

Speaking to reporters, Putin hailed his talks with Xi as substantive, saying he had spent almost an entire day, from morning to evening, with the Chinese leader and other officials in Beijing the day before. As he left Beijing, the two leaders embraced.

The partnership between China and Russia is not directed against anyone, 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. .

In Washington, White House national security spokesman John Kirby downplayed the significance of the meeting, saying that even if the two countries act contrary to U.S. interests, they do not have a long story of mutual trust.

Kirby noted that a U.S. intelligence assessment released last month indicates that China has increased sales to Russia of machine tools, microelectronics and other technologies used by Moscow to produce missiles, tanks, planes and other weapons. But these are also two leaders who don't have a long history of working together, and officials from both governments who don't necessarily trust each other, Kirby said.

What they have in common is a desire to challenge the rules-based international order and to challenge alliances and partnerships involving the United States, Kirby said.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu addresses Putin's visit in an interview with Associated Presssaying Western powers should continue to support Ukraine as part of sending the 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 leader's trip “is an example of two major authoritarian countries supporting each other, working together and supporting each other's expansionism,” Wu added.

Russia found itself isolated globally following 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.

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.

Talk of ending the fighting came up frequently in Thursday's remarks, even though Russia has just opened a new front by launching attacks in Ukraine's northeastern border area. The war is a critical point for Ukrainewho had faced delays in arms supplies to the United States

China proposed a vast peace plan Last year, this proposal was rejected by both Ukraine and the West because it did not call on Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine.

Since the invasion and subsequent Western sanctions against Moscow, Russia has increasingly relied on China for technology and some consumer product imports, while exporting cheap energy. Trade between the two countries reached $240 billion last year.

European leaders put pressure on 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.

Wu reported from Bangkok. AP writers Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia, and Simina Mistreanu and Christopher Bodeen in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed.




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