Putin and Xi Jinping Meet Against a Background of Growing Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin expects Chinese President Xi Jinping to make a state visit early next year to show solidarity in dealing with rising tensions that are increasingly isolated on the world stage. Told.

In a teleconference with Xi, Putin said relations between the two countries were “at an all-time high” and that the bilateral partnership was a “stabilizing factor” amid “rising geopolitical tensions.” “I overcame all difficulties,” he said, with dignity. He added that Russia is seeking to step up military cooperation with China and maintain “intensive bilateral exchanges.”

“I have no doubt that I will have the opportunity to meet you in person. Dear Chairman, dear friend, I am looking forward to your state visit to Moscow next spring,” Putin told Xi. “This will demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russia-China relations on important issues.”

With Russia struggling in its war with Ukraine and the COVID epidemic raging in China, a Dec. 30 virtual meeting between the two leaders focused on deepening ties, although each You seem to have your own take on relationships.

Despite Xi calling Putin a dear friend, Xi’s statement sounded much more pragmatic, about a quarter of an enthusiastic eight-minute opening address from Moscow. reached a length of

Xi did not mention the visit and stressed that Beijing, which neither supports nor condemns the Kremlin, “will continue to maintain an objective and impartial stance” on the Ukraine issue.

In recent years, relations between the two countries have become even closer. The two signed a “no limits” strategic partnership just days before Putin sent military troops to Ukraine at the Beijing Olympics in February.

A series of subsequent sanctions forced Russia to look to markets such as China, pushing bilateral trade to new levels.

On Friday, Putin said bilateral trade had surged by about 25%, adding that if the trend continued, it could reach $200 billion earlier than planned in 2024.

Russian-Chinese Diplomacy
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping via video link at the Moscow Kremlin on December 30, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia has also become China’s largest supplier of oil and gas, while agricultural trade has jumped by a third in the first 11 months of the year.

On Friday, Russia’s finance ministry also doubled the maximum possible share of the Chinese yuan in the National Wealth Fund to 60% to reduce its dependence on “unfriendly” countries such as the US, European Union, UK and Japan. did.

Russia also “firmly supports” China’s stance on Taiwan, an autonomous island that Beijing claims as its own, a summary of the Chinese meeting said.

“We share the same view on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing changes in the global geopolitical landscape,” Putin told Xi. He also thanked President Xi Jinping for the “warm welcome” and “meaningful conversations” he provided to Russian Security Council Vice-President Dmitry Medvedev during his December 21 visit to Beijing.

But Xi has been more reserved while suggesting he is ready for more “practical cooperation.”

“We are strengthening the public foundations of friendship,” he said, citing areas such as investment, energy, culture and humanitarian exchanges. “I am happy with these results.”

The end-of-year virtual meeting has become a “good tradition” between them, Xi added.

China will resume normal cross-border travel with Russia and other countries “in an orderly manner,” according to Chinese state media.

The meeting came three days after Russia and China completed a week-long joint military exercises in the East China Sea that included training to seize enemy submarines and fire on warships.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the talks were “constructive and substantive,” but no date was set for Xi’s visit.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Eva Who
Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times, focusing on US politics, US-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Please contact Eva at [email protected]