Monday, June 17, 2024

Putin arrives in China’s ‘Little Moscow’ on second day of state visit – BBC News

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Copyright: Reuters

The Chinese President Xi Jinping and his guest President Vladimir Putin will enjoy a concert together as they end their day of warm words about “deepening their partnership”.

But the language from Beijing has not reached the lofty heights of Moscow’s initial statement, which claimed the relationship was at an “unprecedented” level.

Instead, Xi told his Russian counterpart that he cherished the relationship and wanted to nurture it. This will be welcome news to Putin as China has become his lifeline after the West imposed sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

A strong show of unity has been on display, with Xi saying China is willing to support the “rejuvenation of our respective countries”, while Putin has said their joint co-operation was a “stabilising factor” in the world.

These statements surely aim to challenge the US-led world order, but will be met with derision in the West where Putin is being investigated as a war criminal.

Xi says he is willing to be a good friend to Russia, but he also has his own priorities. Washington stands ready to impose sanctions on Beijing if it continues to help Russia’s war machine.

Yes, he has rolled out the red carpet for his comrade, complete with Red Army songs. And yes, the two stood shoulder-to-shoulder in the sunshine of Tiananmen Square.

But if Putin wants more from this relationship, it might be more than Xi is willing to give when China is relying on exports to revive its sluggish economy.

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