Putin, Xi pledge mutual support ahead of Xi's state visit

By bne IntelliNews March 20, 2023

Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia is a major event confirming the special nature of the Moscow-Beijing partnership, President Vladimir Putin said in an article for People’s Daily newspaper. Xi also emphasised the strength of the partnership in a similar article published in the state organ Rossiiskaya Gazeta. "Today, the Russia-China relations serve as the cornerstone of regional and global stability, driving the economic growth and securing the positive agenda in international affairs. They provide an example of harmonious and constructive co-operation between major powers," Putin said in an article for People’s Daily newspaper, as cited by Tass.

No country on the global arena has a right to make the final say in determining the existing world order, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in an interview with Russia’s Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily.

"The international community has recognised that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order," Xi said in the article published ahead of his visit to Russia. "The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile."

Putin and Xi have found common ground in their objection to the “unipolar” world, where the US dominates geopolitics, and have called for a “multipolar” world where the emerging markets would have more say in the global order.

Beijing has backed Russia but not to the point where it has openly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has only abstained at the votes in the UN condemning the invasion. China has also shied away from selling arms to Russia, afraid of bringing down sanctions on itself. China has $1 trillion of trade with the US and EU per year.

Among the many issues the two leaders will discuss is a Chinese sponsored 12-point peace plan for Ukraine that Beijing released on the anniversary of the start of the war on February 24. Xi is expected to spend three days in Moscow, after which he is slated to talk to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the first time since the war started.


China, Russia are strategic partners  

“China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbour and comprehensive strategic partner of co-ordination. We are both major countries in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council. Both countries uphold an independent foreign policy and see our relationship as a high priority in our diplomacy,” Xi wrote in the article in Rossiiskaya Gazeta. “There is a clear historical logic and strong internal driving force for the growth of China-Russia relations. Over the past 10 years we have come a long way in our wide-ranging co-operation and made significant strides into the new era. Our two sides have cemented political mutual trust and fostered a new model of major-country relations. Guided by a vision of lasting friendship and win-win co-operation, China and Russia are committed to no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party in developing our ties. We firmly support each other in following a development path suited to our respective national realities and support each other's development and rejuvenation,” Xi wrote, adding that mutual trade turnover topped $190bn last year – its highest level ever.

Xi called the visit to Russia “a journey of friendship, co-operation and peace”, adding he would work with Putin to “jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of co-ordination in the years to come,” Xi said.

Xi made two refences to the war in Ukraine saying: “The world today is going through profound changes unseen in a century. The historical trend of peace, development and win-win co-operation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multi-polarity, economic globalisation and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible. On the other hand, our world is confronted with complex and intertwined traditional and non-traditional security challenges, damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying, and long and tortuous global economic recovery. Countries around the world are deeply concerned and eager to find a co-operative way out of the crisis.

“Since last year, there has been an all-round escalation of the Ukraine crisis. China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks. I have put forth several proposals, i.e., observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect of the legitimate security concerns of all countries, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, and ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains. They have become China's fundamental principles for addressing the Ukraine crisis,” Xi said.

“Not long ago, we released China's Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, which takes into account the legitimate concerns of all parties and reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis. It has been constructive in mitigating the spillovers of the crisis and facilitating its political settlement. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, co-operative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security,” Xi said.


Russia, China a rock in the river

Russia and China closely co-operate on the international arena jointly fighting common threats by ‘building bridges’ and standing shoulder to shoulder like a ‘rock amid a fast-flowing stream,’ Putin said.

"Unlike some countries claiming hegemony and bringing discord to the global harmony, Russia and China are literally and figuratively building bridges," Putin said in the article published ahead of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia.

"Last year our border regions were connected by two new bridge crossings over the Amur river, which has been a ‘river of friendship’ since time immemorial," he stated.

"Amidst the ‘waves and winds’ that sweep the planet, we closely co-operate in international affairs and effectively co-ordinate our foreign policy positions, counter common threats and respond to current challenges, standing shoulder to shoulder as a ‘rock amid a fast flowing stream’," the Russian president said.

"We actively promote democratic multilateral structures such as the SCO [the Shanghai Cooperation Organization] and BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa], which become more and more authoritative and influential and attract new partners and friends," Putin continued. "The work aimed at co-ordinating the development of the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU] with the One Belt, One Road Initiative also goes in this vein." "We can feel the geopolitical landscape in the outside world change dramatically," he said. "Sticking more stubbornly than ever to its obsolete dogmata and vanishing dominance, the ‘Collective West’ is gambling on the fates of entire states and peoples. 

"The US's policy of simultaneously deterring Russia and China, as well as all those who do not bend to the American dictation, is getting ever more fierce and aggressive. The international security and co-operation architecture is being dismantled. Russia has been labelled an ‘immediate threat’ and China a ‘strategic competitor’," said the Russian president.

Related Articles

Russia's Bork appliances brand plans Uzbekistan, Turkey and UAE expansion

The Russian household appliances brand Bork plans to launch branded stores in three new countries, Vedomosti has reported. According to cited real estate market insiders, the brand has chosen ... more

Kazakh president proposes Russia to Iran high-speed freight rail link

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has proposed to the European Economic Union (EEU) the construction of a high-speed freight rail link between Kazakhstan and Iran, RIA Novosti reported on May ... more

Afghanistan joins list of Uzbekistan’s largest trading partners in 4M23 despite very small export volume

Trade between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan was valued at $259.5mn  in 4M23, according to the Uzbek national statistical agency. Uzbek exports to Afghanistan made up $257.3mn, but imports ... more