Chinese, Russian presidents hold talks

16 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
Chinese, Russian presidents hold talks Chinese President Xi Jinping met Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday.

The Herald

SAMARKAND. – Russian President Vladimir Putin chatted with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after the trilateral meeting with the leaders of China and Mongolia yesterday. The two leaders had also held bilateral talks earlier in the day

At their first face-to-face meeting since the war,  President Xi said he was very happy to meet “my old friend” again after Mr Putin said attempts by the United States to create a unipolar world would fail.

“We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis,” Mr Putin told President Xi, whom he addressed as “Dear Comrade Xi Jinping, dear friend”.

“We understand your questions and concern about this. During today’s meeting, we will of course explain our position, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have talked about this before.”

Preisdent Xi, who the Communist Party is due next month to bestow a historic third leadership term and thus cement his place as the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, did not mention Ukraine in his public remarks.

A Chinese readout of the meeting also did not mention Ukraine. It said China is willing to give strong support to Russia for matters related to its core interests, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

China has refrained from condemning Russia’s operation against Ukraine or calling it an “invasion” in line with the Kremlin, which casts the war as “a special military operation”.

The last time President Xi and Mr Putin met in person, just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, they declared a “no limits” partnership and inked a promise to collaborate more against the West.

The Xi-Putin partnership is considered one of the most significant developments in geopolitics after China’s own spectacular rise over the past 40 years.

President Xi, the son of a Communist revolutionary who has praised the jewels of Russian literature in public, and Mr Putin, who grew up in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, said they would work together.

But the Ukraine war has underscored the different trajectories of China and Russia: one a rising superpower whose economy is forecast to overtake the United States in a decade; the other, a former superpower struggling with a draining war.

“In the face of changes in the world, in our times and of history, China is willing to work with Russia to play a leading role in demonstrating the responsibility of major powers, and to instil stability and positive energy into a world in turmoil,” Preisdent Xi said.

While President Xi has now met Putin in person 39 times since becoming China’s president in 2013, he has yet to meet Joe Biden in person since the latter became US President in 2021.

President Xi’s trip to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was his first outside China since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. His last trip outside China was a visit to Myanmar in January 2020.

Mr Putin and President Xi share a view of the world which sees the West as decadent and in decline just as China challenges the United States’ supremacy.

Mr Putin explicitly backed China over Taiwan.

“We intend to firmly adhere to the principle of ‘One China’,” Mr  Putin said. “We condemn provocations by the United States and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait.”

China held blockade-style military drills around Taiwan after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island last month. Taiwan’s government strongly rejects China’s sovereignty claims.

As the West tries to reduce its reliance on Russian energy, Mr Putin is seeking to boost energy exports to China and Asia, possibly with a pipeline through Mongolia. – TAss/Reuters

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