Putin’s invitation to Xi Jinping is a sign of deepening strategic and possibly military cooperation between the two countries. Both the countries are facing a common threat from the western countries.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin its Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has been invited to visit his country next spring. Its purpose is to increase the strategic and military partnership between the two countries facing increasing pressure from Western countries. In a video conferencing with Xi, Putin said without mentioning the Ukraine war, “Today, when geopolitical tension is rising, Russia and China can reduce it by forming a strategic partnership. Our relations try to overcome all difficulties with dignity and demonstrate maturity and stability. We can continue to expand it by keeping it dynamic. Bilateral exchanges will continue at a rapid pace in the coming new year. I have no doubt that we will get the opportunity to meet you in person.
Putin said and Xi nodded with a smile in response. “Mr. Chairman and dear friend, we look forward to your state visit to Russia next spring,” Putin said.
What is its meaning?
Putin’s invitation to Xi is a sign of deepening strategic and possibly military cooperation between the two countries. Both the countries are facing a common threat from the western countries. Russia attacked Ukraine in February this year amid fears of a NATO military invasion of its border in Eastern Europe, while the US has targeted China over the question of Taiwan’s independence.
As the war in Ukraine continues and Western countries continue to provoke China, the most practical step would be for the two countries to strengthen their ties. However, there is less at stake for China than for Russia. Russia is facing dwindling weapons in the war and tough economic sanctions.
Russia and China are coming closer like this
China has so far stayed away from the Ukraine conflict by not providing direct military support to Russia. In his conversation with Putin, Xi said that China would continue to pursue its “objective and fair” approach to the war, which simply meant that it would continue to hold the West responsible for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Both the countries are fast getting closer. This year Russia became the biggest center of sugar exports. Exports from China to Russia have increased from 14 percent in 2021 to about 26 percent in 2022. Figures from the Chinese Customs Department also point to growing bilateral trade between the two countries, which increased by about 32 per cent to US$172.406 billion over the previous year.
How important will Jinping’s visit be?
Russia is looking for military support from its allies like Iran, North Korea as western countries are aggressively supporting Ukraine. If China also goes to the front, then it will deepen the gap between the western and eastern countries, which will increase the risk of the third world war.
While the US is supporting Ukraine both diplomatically and militarily, Russia is not supported by any major military power. If China comes forward with Russia then the world will come one step closer to nuclear war.
There is also a twist in the story
China has traditionally stayed away from military conflicts, especially when the conflict is between two world powers. In view of its growing diplomatic and economic dominance, China sits quietly and does not want to expose its aggressive form to the world. If China sticks to its traditional policy, Putin should prepare himself for a big disappointment. However, the cooperation between Russia and China is much more than normal business activities. Actually, after the attack on Ukraine, both the countries are coming closer.
Documents found in hacked emails from Russian state television VGTRK show that Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and China’s National Radio and Television Administration have signed a bilateral ministerial agreement. According to the news of The Intercept, out of 64 joint media projects between the two, some have been launched and some are in different stages of preparation. There is also a cartoon called ‘Panda and Crush’ who follow a robot and an elephant on an adventure trip: the song, “I help you and you help me” plays as the two leave together.
At present, not much information has been revealed about the bilateral relations between China and Russia. But next year, when Xi Jinping goes on a visit to Russia, many such facts may come to the fore which may shock the western countries badly.
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(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own. The views and facts given in this article do not represent the stand of NewsNCR.)
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