Russian President Vladimir Putin met Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, in China last week and the two expressed interest in building their no-limits partnership and their visions for a “multipolar world” not led by any one country.
Xi was the man of the hour during the visit that focused on China’s ambitious Belt and Road Forum that The New York Times described as Beijing’s top foreign policy initiative that focuses on infrastructure projects largely based on trade. Xi said the initiative has already “established a new framework for international cooperation.”
The paper noted that U.S. President Joe Biden was visiting Israel while the two were meeting. Xi did not mention the latest conflict, but Putin said “shared threats” only bring China and Russia closer.
ABC News noted that Putin was personally invited by Xi to attend the conference and the two “strode into the reception hall walking side-by-side” and ahead of the other guests.
Xi gave the opening speech at the international conference in Beijing and said his country is opposed to “ideological confrontation, geopolitical rivalry, and bloc politics,” according to the paper. He also said he is opposed to the idea of unilateral sanctions and other forms of economic coercion, like “decoupling.” (See “CHINA ACCUSES U.S. OF ‘TECH BULLYING’ AFTER BIDEN’S LATEST MOVE TO HURT CHINA” 15 Aug 2023, “CHINA HITS U.S. OVER LATEST WEAPONS SALE TO TAIWAN” 11 Jul 2023, and “CHINA TELLS EUROPE: U.S. POLICIES WILL HURT YOUR COUNTRY” 16 May 2023.)
Putin referred to Xi as his “dear friend” and told the forum that Russia and China “share the aspiration for equal and mutually beneficial cooperation in order to achieve universal sustainable and long-term economic progress and social well-being while respecting the diversity of civilization and the right of each state to its own development model.”
Putin, who faces an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court, seemed to score a diplomatic victory just by attending the conference because it shows that he is still a global player who leads a country with “massive resources,” Artem Lukin, an international relations professor at Russia’s Far Eastern Federal University, told the paper. He also said that the visit showed that Russia is far from isolated.
TRENDPOST: It is worth noting that Putin earlier called the conflict the latest policy failure by the U.S. (See “PUTIN SAYS HAMAS ATTACKS SHOWCASE FAILED U.S. POLICY IN REGION,” 17 Oct 2023.)
TRENDPOST: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave a speech in September at Washington D.C.’s Johns Hopkins University and told the audience what everyone seems to already know: the post-Cold War World Order has come to an end, and will give way to a fight-to-the-death among superpowers.
Blinken looked back and said the end of the Cold War ushered in a time of “relative geopolitical stability,” but Washington is facing “intensifying competition with authoritarian powers,” namely Russia and China.
“One era is ending, a new one is beginning, and the decisions that we make now will shape the future,” he said. (See “BLINKEN: OLD WORLD ORDER DEAD…UP NEXT, A FIGHT TO THE FINISH” 19 Sep 2023 and “ANTI-CHINA RHETORIC FROM G7 MEETING MOVES MOSCOW AND BEIJING EVEN CLOSER” 30 May 2023.)
The U.S. has been angered that China did not publicly condemn Russia for invading Ukraine. And while Washington has fully backed Israel’s relentless attack on innocent Palestinians, China and Russia have both refused to condemn the Hamas attack. The two global powers also urged Israel to show restraint. (See “U.S. HAD BRIEF MOMENT CALLING FOR PEACE IN ISRAEL, GAZA…BUT POST WAS QUICKLY DELETED” 17 Oct 2023, “MIDDLE EAST NATIONS SAY HAMAS STRIKES ON ISRAEL WERE PROVOKED” 10 Oct 2023, and “WEST SELLS ISRAELI LINE THAT HAMAS ATTACK WAS ‘INTELLIGENCE FAILURE’ GLOSSES OVER FACT THAT NETANYAHU WAS FIGHTING FOR POLITICAL SURVIVAL” 10 Oct 2023.)
China has accused the U.S. of essentially trying to sabotage its growth by encouraging allies to turn away from Beijing. Indeed, CNBC noted that Italy’s ambassador to China walked out of the conference when Putin took the microphone in protest to Russia’s war in Ukraine. Italy also announced that it will not take part in China’s initiative. The West is unhappy that China is helping to prop up the Russian economy and indirectly helping to fund the war effort.
Indeed, Xi told the audience that trade between China and Russia hit $190 billion last year, which is a new record.
Representatives from more than 130 countries joined the forum.
The West has resisted the Belt and Road Initiative that they have called “debt-trap diplomacy.”
The Belt and Road Initiative is about 10 years old and China has, so far, doled out $1 trillion—mainly in loans—to developing nations for the project that includes infrastructure projects, The Times said.