June 23, 2024

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Putin concludes his trip to China by emphasizing its strategic and personal relations with Russia

Putin concludes his trip to China by emphasizing its strategic and personal relations with Russia

BEIJING (AFP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin She concluded a two-day visit to China Trump on Friday stressed the thriving strategic ties between the two countries as well as his personal relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they seek to offer an alternative to the United States’ global influence.

Putin praised the growth of bilateral trade during a tour of the China-Russia Expo in the northeastern city of Harbin. He met with students at the Harbin Institute of Technology, known for its defense research and work with the People’s Liberation Army.

Harbin, the capital of China’s Heilongjiang Province, was once home to many Russian expatriates and retains some of this history in its architecture, such as the Central Saint Sophia Cathedral, a former Russian Orthodox church.

Emphasizing the personal nature of the relationship, Putin said that the Harbin Institute and his university, Saint Petersburg State University, would open a joint school for 1,500 students. “I am sure that it will become a leader in Russian-Chinese cooperation in the field of science and education,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Putin praised his talks with Xi as “objective,” saying he had spent “almost a whole day, from morning to evening” with the Chinese leader and other officials in Beijing the day before. When he left Beijing, the two leaders embraced.

In an implicit reference to the West, Putin said that the partnership between China and Russia “is not directed against anyone.” “It aims for one thing: to create better conditions for the development of our two countries and to improve the well-being of the people of China and the Russian Federation.”

But he still issued a stinging rebuke to the United States and others who oppose the relationship between Moscow and Beijing, saying that “an emerging multipolar world… is now taking shape before our eyes.”

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He added, “It is important that those who are trying to maintain their monopoly on the world’s decision-making process on all issues… do everything in their power to ensure that this process proceeds normally.”

Both Russia and China have repeatedly spoken of an “emerging multipolar world” in response to what they see as US hegemony.

Joseph Torigian, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said the message sent by China and Russia was clear: “At this moment, they are reminding the West that they can be defiant when they want to be.”

In Washington, White House national security spokesman John Kirby downplayed the importance of the meeting, saying that although the two countries are acting in ways that conflict with American interests, they do not have a long history of trust in each other.

Kirby noted that a US intelligence assessment released last month indicated that China had increased its sales to Russia of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology that Moscow uses to produce missiles, tanks, aircraft and other weapons. “But they are also two leaders who do not have a long history of working together, and officials in both governments do not necessarily trust the other,” Kirby said.

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

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu spoke about Putin’s visit In an interview with the Associated PressHe said Western powers should continue to support Ukraine as part of sending a message that democracies will stand up for each other.

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“If Ukraine is ultimately defeated, I think China will be inspired and may take more ambitious steps to expand its power in the Indo-Pacific region, and that would be disastrous for the international community,” Wu said.

This month, Putin began his fifth term in power Xi began his third round last year. Wu added that the Russian leader’s trip “is an example of the two large authoritarian states supporting each other, working together, and supporting each other’s expansionism.”

Russia has become globally isolated Invasion of Ukraine in 2022. China has a tense relationship with the United States, which it has described as a competitor, and faces pressure to continue supplying Russia with the main components needed to produce weapons.

Putin began his day by laying flowers at a memorial in Harbin to Soviet soldiers who fell fighting for China against the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Japan occupied parts of China.

At the trade fair in Harbin, Putin stressed the importance of Russian-Chinese cooperation in joint development of new technologies.

He added: “By relying on traditions of friendship and cooperation, we can look to the future with confidence.” He added, “The Russian-Chinese partnership helps the economic growth of our two countries, ensures energy security, helps develop production and creates new job opportunities.”

A joint statement on Thursday described their worldview and explained criticisms of US military alliances in the Asia-Pacific. The meeting was another confirmation of the “unlimited” friendly relationship that China and Russia signed in 2022, before Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Talks about ending the fighting featured repeatedly in statements on Thursday, although Russia just opened a new front by launching attacks in Ukraine’s northeastern border region. War at A critical point for UkraineWhich faced delays in obtaining weapons from the United States

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China It offered a broad plan for peace Last year, he was rejected by both Ukraine and the West for failing to call on Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine.

Since the invasion and subsequent Western sanctions on Moscow, Russia has increasingly relied on China for technology and some consumer imports while exporting cheap energy. The volume of trade between the two countries rose to $240 billion last year.

European leaders I put pressure on China To influence Russia to end its invasion, but to no avail. Experts say that the relationship between Moscow and Beijing provides strategic benefits, especially when both have tensions with Europe and the United States

“Even if China makes concessions on a range of issues, including reducing support for Russia, it is unlikely that the United States or the West will radically change its stance toward China as a competitor,” said Hu Tiang-pon, who researches Chinese foreign policy at the University of Singapore. Nanyang Technological University. “They see very little incentive to reach a settlement.”

Xi and Putin have a long-term agreement to visit the two countries once a year, and Xi was welcomed to the Kremlin last year.

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Wu reported from Bangkok. Associated Press writers Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia, and Simina Mystrino and Christopher Bodin in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed.