11th February 2024 – (Beijing) Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have voiced their collective censure of what they term as America’s incursive policies in sovereign nations, the Kremlin reported. The hour-long conversation on Thursday underscored their shared stance against Washington’s propensity for involvement in other states’ affairs, as relayed by Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov.
The dialogue between the two leaders, which spanned various topics, notably included their united vision for establishing a world order that is not unipolar but multipolar and equitable. This vision stands in direct contrast to what they perceive as attempts by the US to simultaneously contain both Russia and China, two of the most formidable adversaries to Washington’s global influence.
The West has been watching the burgeoning relationship between Moscow and Beijing with a wary eye, particularly as both nations have sought to expand their global influence over the past few years. Their partnership has gained depth in domains of trade and defence, as Moscow turns to Beijing in the face of severe Western sanctions over its military action in Ukraine.
China, on the other hand, has reaped the benefits of economic cooperation with Russia, enjoying an influx of inexpensive energy and a wealth of natural resources, exemplified by the steady flow of gas through the Power of Siberia pipeline. According to Chinese customs data, the trade between the two countries has soared, reaching $218.2bn in just eleven months, thereby achieving their 2019 set goal a year in advance.
The two leaders also broached the topic of reducing their reliance on the US dollar, with increased trade transactions being carried out in their national currencies, the rouble and yuan. They stressed the importance of crafting a robust financial infrastructure to guarantee the reliability of these transactions, as stated by Ushakov.
Discussions on international hotspots such as Ukraine and the Middle East were also part of the agenda, where Putin and Xi found common ground, although specifics were not divulged by Ushakov. The two powers had declared an unconditional partnership just before the onset of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022, and have continued to strengthen ties despite Western nations distancing themselves from Moscow.
China’s stance on Taiwan, which it claims as its territory, was also reinforced by President Putin, who reaffirmed his support for the ‘one China’ policy. CCTV reported that President Xi insisted on strategic collaboration to defend sovereignty, security, and development interests against external interference.