Monday, January 24

China and Russia against the world


Beijing

Updated:

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The enemy of my enemy is my friend, says the maxim, especially if he was already one before. The Summit for Democracy organized last week by The United States left out China and Russia, a repudiation before which both powers have chosen to unite even more. Xi Jinping y Vladimir Putin They held a videoconference yesterday, the 37th meeting between the two, proof of their good harmony. Russia is also the country that the Chinese leader has visited the most times since he came to power in 2012: eight, twice as many as the second country on the list, the United States, with four.

This virtual encounter comes at an appropriate time given the drums of war which, although still distant, are beginning to sound both in Ukraine and in Taiwan.

The international community remains on alert for the deployment of Russian troops against the Donbás and the rhetorical intensity of the Asian giant, which has never given up resorting to force to take the island that it considers a rebellious province. Faced with the threat of sanctions, the leaders defended the need to cooperate to “more effectively safeguard the security interests of both parties.”

“Currently, under the guise of democracy and human rights, certain international forces are arbitrarily interfering in the internal affairs of China and Russia, violently trampling international law, “denounced Xi. “The world has entered a period of turbulent change,” he added, but “China-Russia relations have withstood the test of various storms and demonstrated a new vitality.”

New cooperation model

Putin, for his part, celebrated “the formation of a new model of cooperation between our countries, one based on foundations such as non-interference in internal affairs and respect for the interests of others.” “No attempt to sow discord between Russia and China will be successful,” he settled. The good relationship between the two countries contributes to the personal proximity between their leaders, who spoke to each other as “dear” or “old friend.”

His ties, however, are not without controversy. China and Russia, who share a border of 4,250 kilometers, they maintain unresolved historical disputes, questions that have been silenced in the face of an almost total alignment in terms of geopolitics and economics. Xi boasted that, for the first time in history, the volume of trade between the two countries exceeded 100 billion dollars (88.6 billion euros) in the third quarter of the year.

During his speech, Putin promised to attend the opening of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics that will begin in just a month and a half. He is the first international leader to do so, a significant support in the face of the diplomatic boycott of Western countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Lithuania; a list that Japan could soon join. Others, like France or South Korea, have dismissed the idea.

“I hope that in February next year we can finally meet in person in Beijing,” said the Russian leader. A friendly gesture encouraged, again, by the circumstances: “We have always supported each other, without discussion, on issues of international athletic cooperation, including the rejection of any attempt to politicize sport or the Olympic movement.”

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