China Backs Russia Over Ukraine, As Putin Arrives In Beijing To Meet Xi

China Backs Russia Over Ukraine, As Putin Arrives In Beijing To Meet Xi

By Uganda Media Online Correspondent

Russia and China have both officially condemned the influence of the US in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing today.

A document agreed by the countries said they ‘oppose the further expansion of NATO and call on the US-led defense bloc to abandon ‘Cold War era’ approaches, while also criticizing Washington’s ‘negative impact on peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Russia and China also said they were ‘seriously concerned’ by the AUKUS defense alliance including Australia, UK, and US.

The statements come after Jinping today met with Putin for the first time in nearly two years, with the pair drawing closer as tensions grow with the West. 

Xi has not left China since January 2020, when the country was grappling with its initial Covid-19 outbreak and locked down the central city of Wuhan where the virus was first detected.

He is now readying to meet more than 20 leaders as Beijing kicks off a Winter Olympics it hopes will be a soft-power triumph and shift focus away from a build-up blighted by a diplomatic boycott and Covid fears.

Putin’s jet touched down in the Chinese capital earlier today, state broadcaster CCTV reported, on the day of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony. 

The two strongmen are now set to attend the opening ceremony in the Chinese capital this evening.

The Russian leader’s visit comes amid growing Chinese support for Moscow in its dispute with Ukraine that threatens to break out into armed conflict.

Putin’s jet touched down in the Chinese capital earlier today, state broadcaster CCTV reported, on the day of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Spiraling tensions with the West have bolstered ties between the world’s largest nation and its most populous, and Putin was the first foreign leader to confirm his presence at the Olympics. 

Putin remains the highest-profile guest at the event following the decision by the US, UK and others not to send officials in protest over China’s human rights abuses and its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. 

The Putin-Xi talks focused on coordinating their countries’ foreign policies, with Mr Putin writing in an article published on Thursday by the Chinese news agency Xinhua that Moscow and Beijing play an ‘important stabilizing role’ in global affairs and help make international affairs ‘more equitable and inclusive’.

The Russian president has criticised ‘attempts by some countries to politicise sports to the benefit of their ambitions’, an apparent reference to a US-led diplomatic boycott, which does not affect the participation of athletes in the Games.

‘I have known President Xi Jinping for a long time,’ CCTV quoted Putin as saying in a report.

‘As good friends and politicians who share many common views on solving world problems, we have always maintained close communication.’ 

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also carried an article from Putin on Thursday in which the Russian leader painted a portrait of two neighbours with increasingly shared global goals.

‘Foreign policy coordination between Russia and China is based on close and coinciding approaches to solving global and regional issues,’ Putin wrote.

He also hit out at US-led Western diplomatic boycotts of the Beijing Olympics that were sparked by China’s human rights record.

‘Sadly, attempts by a number of countries to politicise sports for their selfish interests have recently intensified,’ Putin wrote, calling such moves ‘fundamentally wrong’.

Putin on Friday arrived in Beijing for the opening of the Winter Olympic Games and talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, as the two leaders look to project themselves as a counterweight to the U.S. and its allies

For its part, China has become more vocal in backing Russia in its dispute with NATO powers over Ukraine. 

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi last week told US secretary of state Antony Blinken that Moscow’s security concerns need to be taken seriously and addressed, a statement that marked a notable policy shift for Beijing. 

Moscow is looking for further support after its deployment of 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine prompted Western nations to warn of an invasion and threaten ‘severe consequences’ in response to any Russian attack.

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