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China-Russia Strategic Partnership: Navigating the Ukraine Crisis and Western Opposition

China-Russia Strategic Partnership

World media views China: Putin-Xi Jinping alliance and support

WASHINGTON — The content discusses the close relationship between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin, with China showing increasing support for Russia amidst its invasion of Ukraine. Despite claiming neutrality, China has refrained from condemning Russia and instead echoed Russian propaganda, blaming Western countries for the conflict.

Putin’s recent visit to Beijing further highlighted the strong ties between the two countries, with both leaders emphasizing the importance of their strategic partnership. The future of this relationship depends on the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine and the strength of the anti-Western axis between Beijing and Moscow.

Key Concepts

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have a close relationship.
  • China refrains from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and echoes Russian propaganda.
  • China claims neutrality but has been coordinating with Russia since the invasion.
  • Putin’s recent visit to Beijing highlights the strong ties between China and Russia.
  • China provides economic support to Russia despite Western sanctions.
  • Xi Jinping denies involvement in the Ukraine crisis and criticizes the West.
  • China expresses support for Ukraine’s security guarantees and pledges not to use nuclear weapons.
  • Putin’s visit to China aims to strengthen the strategic partnership amidst the Ukraine conflict.
  • The future of the Sino-Russian relationship depends on the outcome of the conflict in Ukraine.
  • China benefits from cheap energy imports from Russia and asserts its right to maintain economic relations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing for the second time in less than a year, holding talks with his “old friend” Chinese President Xi Jinping and vowing to strengthen ties between the two countries. On the occasion of Putin’s visit to Beijing, the Russian military forces under his command launched a large-scale offensive there to invade Ukraine. This was seen by some as highlighting Xi Jinping, China’s support for Putin and Russia’s war of aggression.

Uncapped relations and coordination with Russia

Since Russia launched a large-scale military invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the relationship between Xi Jinping and Putin and the relationship between China and Russia have attracted close attention from the international community. In February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Beijing. At that time, a senior official from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that Sino-Russian relations “have no ceiling.” In the same month, Russia launched a massive invasion of Ukraine.

After the invasion, China expressed neutrality on the one hand and claimed that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected. On the other hand, it refused to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine. At the same time, it echoed Russia’s official propaganda and claimed that Western countries were at fault for Russia’s large-scale invasion of Ukraine. Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s nominally highest authority, even claimed that since Russia invaded Ukraine, China has “coordinated” Russia in different aspects.

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As Russia’s troops invading Ukraine have launched large-scale offensive operations there in recent days, Putin visited Beijing to meet with his “old friend” Xi Jinping, and the Chinese authorities seem to be becoming more and more open in their support of Russia.

On May 16, the day Putin began his visit to Beijing, the British “Guardian” published a report titled ” Putin Arrives in China for Visit to Deepen Partnership with Xi Jinping “, describing Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s attacks in Ukraine. The latest offensive links him to Xi Jinping and China. The report said:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing for talks with ‘old friend’ Chinese President Xi Jinping. He has sought to deepen relations with China since he launched some of his most significant offensive operations since Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. “

Xi Jinping pointed out in a televised speech on Thursday that he and Putin have met more than 40 times and that Sino-Russian relations are ‘hard-won’ and ‘should be cherished and maintained by both sides. ‘”

“On this occasion, the Russian leader paid a visit to China. The two-day visit comes as Russian troops launched an offensive into Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region last week in the worst border incursion since the full-scale invasion began, forcing nearly 8,000 people to flee their homes.

China once issued a statement providing security guarantees to Ukraine.

On the occasion of Putin’s arrival in Beijing, the American political news publication Politico reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin began a state visit and talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday, emphasizing that the two countries have strong relations and China’s wartime support for the Russian economy.”

After Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, Western democracies imposed economic sanctions on Russia in an attempt to use economic means to force Russia to stop its war of aggression in Ukraine. China continues to provide Russia with huge economic support, including dual-use military and civilian equipment, allowing Russia to maintain its aggressive war and become an international topic.

When faced with questions in this regard during his visit to France a few days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that China was “neither the creator nor a party nor a participant in this crisis” and opposed “using the Ukraine crisis to blame others and smear the country.” The three countries are inciting a ‘new cold war.’ “

Russia has launched a large-scale military invasion of Ukraine and is now launching a major offensive on Ukrainian territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again hinted that he may be prepared to use nuclear weapons in the Ukrainian war. Xi Jinping and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs have said nothing about this. But 30 years ago, in 1994, China officially issued the “Statement on Providing Security Guarantees to Ukraine.”

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The statement said, “China fully understands Ukraine’s request for security guarantees. The Chinese government’s consistent position is that it will unconditionally not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon countries and nuclear-weapon-free zones. This principled position applies to Ukraine. The Chinese government calls on all Nuclear-weapon states to make the same pledge to enhance the security of all non-nuclear-weapon states, including Ukraine. “

It is unclear whether the Chinese government has regarded that statement as an outdated and invalid historical document.

Testing “unlimited” friendship.

France’s major newspaper, “Le Monde,” published a report on Thursday, May 16. The main headline was “Putin meets Xi Jinping in China to test ‘unlimited’ friendship .” The subtitle was, “The Russian President will meet in China to test ‘unlimited’ friendship.” Visiting China on May 16th and 17th. He will go to a technology institution subject to U.S. sanctions.” The report said:

“Although meetings between the Russian president and the Chinese president are almost routine, having met at least three times in the past year on multilateral occasions (G20, BRICS, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization summits), Putin this time There is something unusual about the visit to Beijing. For the Russian side, it will be a test of the limits of the ‘uncapped’ friendship announced in February 2022, 20 days before the invasion of Ukraine,” said Alexander, a Russia-China expert.

Gabuev wrote in an article published in the US “Foreign Affairs” in early April that the growing ties between Moscow and Beijing are “one of the most important geopolitical consequences of the war in Ukraine.” Whether this relationship deepens depends not only on the fate of the conflict in Ukraine but also on the strength of the anti-Western axis forged between Beijing and Moscow. “

The French public television station France 24 website published a report titled “Putin visits Beijing hoping to strengthen strategic partnership with China”, saying: “Putin arrived in Beijing, China, on Thursday to begin a two-day visit. The Russian president hopes to strengthen his strategic partnership with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In particular, he looked to this ally to support him during his invasion of Ukraine. “

China, a major Asian country, is Russia’s vital economic lifeline. As a result of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the West imposed severe sanctions on Russia. Xi Jinping has just returned from visits to France, Serbia and Hungary. He claimed that China has the right to maintain normal economic relations with neighboring Russia. China in particular benefits from cheap energy imports from Russia. “

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The French financial newspaper “Echos” published a report with the title, “Putin visits China to consolidate an “uncapped” partnership.” The report said, “In order to seek support in the Ukrainian war, the Russian president arranged for his first overseas trip as president. Xi Jinping has said he is ready to strengthen ties with Russia but does not seek to alienate Europe. “

Japan is concerned about the future development of Sino-Russian relations.

Japanese public radio and TV station NHK published a report titled “President Putin visited China to meet with President Xi Jinping and confirm unity.”

and said: “Through this visit, the leaders of Russia and China seem to aim to further strengthen the Personal trust relationship, by confirming the unity of the two countries and balancing the United States and European countries that oppose the two countries.

“Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi Fangzheng said at a press conference on the afternoon of May 16 (Japan time)” (China and Russia heads of state). The details of the exchange of talks have not yet been clarified, and the Japanese government will not comment at this time. China and Russia have maintained close relations in recent years, and in view of these trends, we will continue to pay close attention to the future development of Sino-Russian relations.”

Japan’s major newspaper, “Asahi Shimbun”. “The meeting between President Putin and President Xi Jinping shows the China-Russia ‘bond’ to the world?” ” published a report under the title:

“Putin intends to use this visit to show the world his ‘strong relationship’ with China. On the eve of his visit to China, he accepted an interview with Xinhua News Agency and praised that the current relationship between the two countries is at a ‘historically high level.’ He said that the two countries’ positions on major international issues are almost identical, and stressed that Russia and China will “reject the attempts of the United States and Europe to impose rules that I don’t know who came up with.”

On the other hand, China, which has significantly deepened its trade relations with Russia after Russia invaded Ukraine, has been criticized by the United States and Europe as a ‘loophole’ in sanctions against Russia, and China is facing new sanctions pressure.” Amid its difficult relationship with the United States, attention will be paid to how far China will push its partnership with strategically important Russia. “

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