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Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping: not always together, but never at odds – USA News Web

The meeting between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan on Sept. 15 will help the two leaders boost what they see as a bright spot in their relationship. priorities. Putin understood China’s concerns about the war in Ukraine and thanked Xi for his «balanced stance on the Ukraine crisis,» while reiterating Russia’s support for China’s opposition to Taiwan. Xi Jinping said that China is willing to «jointly shoulder the responsibility of a major country with Russia, play a leading role, and inject stability and positive energy into troubled times.»[1] The statements of the two leaders were not surprising: they reiterated their previous positions, expressed in particular at the press conference following the signing of the February 4 joint statement between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), In 2022, during the 24th Beijing Winter Olympics—— this International Relations and Global Sustainable Development in the New Era,[2] It insists on the need for a multipolar world, which is not conducive to the hegemony of the United States and the expansion of the Atlantic Alliance, nor to the defense of the sovereignty and national autonomy of the two countries. The two leaders then described their relationship as an «unlimited» partnership,[3] They insist that the dividing line in contemporary politics is not between «democracy» and «authoritarianism,» as the West hopes, but between «order» and «chaos.»[4]

(…) Xi Jinping’s relative public distance (he does not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but does not condemn it) does not signal a rift in relations between Moscow and Beijing.

But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine demonstrates the limits of the bilateral relationship, which are defined by China’s national interests and its pragmatic, opportunistic, and ambiguous attitude toward Russia. Beijing supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, but at the same time supports and spreads the Kremlin narrative that blames Ukraine for the war and ultimately the expansion of the Atlantic Alliance. Beijing has condemned the sanctions imposed by the West on Russia, calling them «unilateral sanctions», but for now, Chinese companies respect the restrictions imposed, fearing a negative impact on their economy.[5] Yet his equating of liberal democracy with «chaos» (which is understandable, since to dictators everything beyond their control is chaos) and his efforts to provide another model of «order» remain intact, As dominated by «American hegemony» as his hostility to the international order.

Now, Xi Jinping’s relative public distance (he does not support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but does not condemn it either) does not signal a rift in relations between Moscow and Beijing, at least in the short term: Their trade relationship is improving.

2021 is a year of breakthroughs in Sino-Russian economic relations. Exports from the Russian Federation increased by more than 35%. In the first quarter of 2022, they continue to grow.[6] However, since March 2022, imports of Chinese products have started to slow down. The trend affects high-tech products in particular: machinery, equipment, components and other industrial goods, whose main Chinese manufacturers fear secondary sanctions, albeit to a lesser extent, from the United States, as well as from the European Union and the United Kingdom. In the first quarter of 2022, Moscow and Beijing found it necessary to formulate new mutually acceptable conditions to reduce the risk for Chinese suppliers and guarantee the closing of the gaps opened in the Russian market by the interruption of economic relations with companies. Westerners. There may also be a need to develop a global interstate financial settlement mechanism to allow full transition from western currencies to national currencies in bilateral trade.

However, since February, China has increased its purchases of Russian hydrocarbons. As Europe reduces its dependence on Russia’s energy and other mineral resources, the Kremlin has to direct its exports to Asia, mainly China, given the geographic location (existing overland pipelines, sea trade) and its ability to provide payment instruments in RMB , which is a logical choice as an alternative to pegs to the USD, EUR, JPY, CHF or GBP. This trend is strengthening. Over the past seven months, Russian exports to China have grown by 48.8 percent to $61.45 billion.[7]

Its economic and political dependence on China will intensify due to Russia’s exclusion and break with the West(…)

Beijing is unlikely to bail out Moscow or significantly help modernize the Russian economy. However, it will be enough to maintain a friendly regime in the Kremlin and promote Chinese interests, buying up Russian natural resources at plummeting prices, expanding the market for Chinese technology, raising its own technical standards, and making the renminbi China’s default regional currency. The whole Northern Eurasia.

Due to Russia’s exclusion and break with the West, its economic and political dependence on China will intensify, and it may even become its vassal. In 2016, China has become Russia’s main trading partner. The Ukrainian war has reinforced this trend. Given its break with the EU and the impossibility of realizing its dream of becoming a European empire, Moscow will strive to become a country in the only place it has left: Asia. But Russia and China’s rivalry in Central Asia — a region in which China has invested heavily despite Moscow’s established dominance from the 19th century onwards — is being called into question.

«Not always together, but never at odds» is one of the principles governing relations between the two countries, which are not true allies. The future of this asymmetric relationship increasingly favoring China will depend on Russia’s relinquishment of its status as a subordinate partner and how their respective relations with the United States evolve. Russia and China are likely to remain aligned as the Ukraine war has cemented relations between the US, UK and the EU through the Atlantic Alliance, and thus with Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Destroy what they consider the «hegemony» of the West.

[1] «Putin denounces Western efforts to create ‘unipolar world’ to Chinese president.»

[2] «Putin and Xi Jinping forge a new Eurasian era with global influence.»

[3] «China and Russia are increasingly out of touch.»

[4] “Rossiysko-kitayskiy Dialogue: Models for 2022”, RIAC, No. 78/2022.

[5] Alicia García-Herrero, «Early Warning Briefing: China’s Distorted Response to Russia Sanctions».

[6] “Rossiysko-kitayskiy Dialogue: Models for 2022”, RIAC, No. 78/2022.

[7] Aleksandr Gubayev (2022), «China’s new vassal», Foreign affairs9/August/2022.

IMAGE: Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping during Xi Jinping’s 2019 state visit to Moscow. Photo: (Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 4.0).

Author: Mila Milosevic-Yuaristi

The entry Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping: Not always together, but never at odds was originally published on USA News Web.


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