The burgeoning alliance between Russian and China was recently underscored by a meeting between China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin. The two leaders engaged in talks on Wednesday, with Putin lauding the significance of cooperation between their countries. Images of the meeting revealed a cordial atmosphere, with Wang and Putting exchanging a firm handshake and sitting across from each other at the negotiating table.
President Vladimir Putin and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi met at the Kremlin, showcasing the warming relationship between Russia and China. Putin commended the significance of the two nations’ cooperation, highlighting the closeness of their partnership.#VladimirPutin #WangYi pic.twitter.com/xF6r2PBZhn
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) February 23, 2023
Wang also appeared at ease while strolling alongside the Russian Foreign Minister. Moreover, the meeting highlights the growing warmth in Russia-China relations, which remains a focal point in global affairs. Wang Yi’s visit to Moscow, following a tour of several European countries, comes almost a year after Putin deployed troops into Ukraine, resulting in a devastating conflict that has claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions, and left many towns and cities in ruins. This war has also exacerbated the existing rift between Russia and the liberal democracies globally, primarily in the West, who have supported Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Russia.
Putin Highlights the Importance of China-Russia Cooperation amidst Global Tensions
Relations between China and the United States are also facing significant challenges. Recognizing the increasing strain on global relations, Putin emphasized the significance of collaboration between China and Russia in stabilizing the international situation. The Russian leader stressed that such cooperation is crucial in light of the escalated tensions between nations worldwide. According to Putin, the relationship between Russia and China has now entered new frontiers.
He further announced that the Chinese President might soon go to Moscow for a summit. Notably, Xi and Putin have had frequent meetings since Xi was appointed President of China, with the two leaders having held dozens of bilateral discussions. Despite Russia’s military invention in Ukraine, which it refers to as a special military operation, Beijing has refrained from criticizing Moscow. The invasion occurred soon after Xi and Putin’s meeting in China, where both leaders reinforced their no-limits partnership.
Wang Yi underscored that Moscow and Beijing are aligned in their backing of multipolarity and democratization of international relations, alluding to their joint objective of opposing the perceived hegemony of the U.S. in global affairs. Wang further stressed that the partnership between China and Russia is not targeted against other countries and cannot be influenced by third-party pressures. Recently, the U.S. and NATO have expressed unease about the possibility of China providing arms or additional assistance to Russia’s war efforts. However, China has vehemently denied any such intention.
China and Russia Affirm their Commitment to strengthening Bilateral Ties
On Wednesday, Wang Yi met with Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister. Lavrov stated that the relationship between the two nations has continued to develop robustly. Despite the volatility in the global sphere, they have demonstrated a willingness to stand up for each other’s interests. In response, Wang Yi expressed his commitment to further deepening the ties between China and Russia. According to Russia’s foreign ministry, there was no conversation regarding a reported Chinese peace plan for Ukraine. Beijing has echoed Moscow’s accusations that the United States and NATO are responsible for the conflict by “provoking” Russia.
Some analysts believe China is cautious about escalating tensions with the West despite emphasizing its strong ties with Russia, which has supported China amid the tensions between Beijing and the U.S. over issues like Taiwan and Xinjiang. While Russia has steadfastly supported China on various global platforms, including on the issue of human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China is still focused on strengthening its economy after the lengthy lockdowns that resulted from its former zero-COVID policy.
According to Yu Jie, a senior research fellow for China in the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, the U.K. thinks tank, Beijing is cautious about risking isolation from the West. She said cooperation with Russia could undermine China’s political priorities and long-term economic interests. Jie added that Chinese leaders, including President Xi, recognize the limitations of their relationship with Russia and are aware of the need to strike a balance between the two countries while avoiding any significant repercussions from the West. Jie’s comments were published on Wednesday.
U.N. Secretary-General Condemns Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
On February 24 last year, the war in Ukraine erupted, which has become the largest land conflict in Europe since World War Two. On Wednesday, during a 193-member U.N. General Assembly meeting to commemorate the war’s first anniversary, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced Russia’s invasion as a transgression of the UN Charter and international law.
Antonio Guterres, in his address, expressed his concern over the ongoing violence in Ukraine and called for an immediate end to the conflict. He urged all parties to engage in dialogue and work towards peacefully resolving the crisis. The Secretary-General emphasized that the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. He reiterated the UN’sU.N.’s unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine to achieve a peaceful settlement.
The U.N. Secretary-General’s condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reflects the international community’s unwavering commitment to uphold the UN Chartonal law principles and support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The U.N. has repeatedly condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea, and has called for an end to the violence and a peaceful resolution. The U.N. has also provided humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict and supported efforts to promote human rights, democracy, and the rule of law in Ukraine.