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Eurasianet

Eurasianet

Eurasianet is an independent news organization that covers news from and about the South Caucasus and Central Asia, providing on-the-ground reporting and critical perspectives on…

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Does China And Russia’s Partnership Still Have “No Limits?”

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin met with his counterpart Xi Jingping in Uzbekistan on September 15.
  • During the meeting, Putin made a rare admission that his war has put his ally in a precarious position.
  • The meeting underlined how keen Putin and Xi are to forge a new world, though the dynamics of Russia and China's relationship are certainly undergoing a transformation.

Reeling from a series of defeats in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a rare admission that there might be some international concerns about his country’s invasion of a neighboring state. He was deferring not to Western concerns but to those that might be harbored by his ally China, whose support he needs to refute claims that Russia is internationally isolated.

Putin made the concession at a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan. The two are in Samarkand to attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on September 16.

“We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukraine crisis,” Putin told Xi, according to a readout of the September 15 meeting published by the Kremlin.

“We understand your questions and concerns on this account. During today's meeting we will, of course, also explain our position on this matter, although we have previously talked about this.”

China has not condemned Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine, but has blamed the West for stoking tensions. However, it has not provided any sanctions relief to Russia, either.

Putin also railed against “provocations by the U.S. and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait,” in remarks guaranteed to please his Chinese counterpart.

By contrast, the previous day Xi had appeared to deliver a shot across the bow to Moscow during a visit to Kazakhstan, where he warned that China would not tolerate any encroachment on that country’s sovereignty or territorial integrity.

Putin went on to express confidence in Moscow’s “strategic all-encompassing partnership” with Beijing, which the two declared had “no limits” when they last met in Beijing in February shortly before Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine.

Undeterred by international criticism over his war, Putin cast their foreign policy “tandem,” as he put it, as a force for good on the global stage.

“We jointly speak out for the formation of a fair, democratic and multipolar world order, based on international law and the central role of the UN, and not on some rules that someone has invented and tries to impose on others, without even explaining what that is,” he said in a thinly veiled reference to the U.S.

Related: Putin's Meeting With Xi Highlights Russia's Waning Status On The World Stage

Attempts to create a “unipolar world” – shorthand for one where Washington calls the shots – had “acquired an absolutely monstrous configuration and are absolutely unacceptable to the overwhelming majority of states on the planet.”

Xi was more laconic, according to the Kremlin readout, which quoted his remarks in Russian.

In a world undergoing “colossal changes,” China was “ready with our Russian colleagues to show the example of a responsible world power and play a leading role to bring such a fast-changing world onto a trajectory of sustainable and positive development.”

The meeting underlined how keen Putin and Xi are to forge a new world order pivoting away from what they consider Western hegemony.

But it also demonstrated how Putin’s war in Ukraine might test their “no-limits” partnership. It is no longer a partnership of equals.  

By Eurasianet.org

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 17 2022 said:
    The strategic partnership between Russia and China is as solid as ever and still has ‘no limits’.
    The two countries are united by two quint essential global issues. The first is confronting an aggressive West led by the United States. The second is undermining the petrodollar. These two issues are interconnected because the dollar enhances the current arrogance of power the US has been displaying on the world stage.

    That is why both Russia and China are working together diligently to accelerate the transition of the World Order from an unfair and aggressive unipolar system to a fairer and less aggressive multipolar one.

    They are also working together to undermine the petrodollar which is the core of the US financial system and therefore the global financial system. This has enabled the US to impose sanctions haphazardly on any country with which it doesn’t see eye to eye.

    A successful completion of these two tasks could pave the way for a more balanced, fairer and peaceful world.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • DoRight Deikins on September 17 2022 said:
    Perhaps, Chairman Xi secretly welcomes the actions of Russia in the Ukraine since that lends credence to any moves it might make into former Soviet territory, besides its saber rattling across the Taiwan Straits. After all, much of the north land was once part of the Middle Kingdom under the Qing dynasty. And quite honestly much of the oil resources of Russia are closer to Beijing than they are to Moscow. It had first hand witness to the weakness that is eastern Russia just a few weeks ago.

    Let Moscow expend itself fighting the Cossacks and leave its backdoor open for the Xi dynasty. The dragon can move very stealthily for such a large serpent. Does Putin, the chess master, know he's being played?

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