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'Russians and Chinese are brothers forever': Putin as he concludes two-day visit to China

Putin and Xi pledged a "new era" of strategic partnership that proclaimed opposition to the US on a host of issues, including Ukraine and Taiwan. Putin also appreciated Xi's position pon Ukraine and welcomed China to play a constructive role in the settlement of the conflict.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Beijing Published on: May 17, 2024 10:07 IST
Putin China visit, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping
Image Source : REUTERS Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping bid farewell at the end of talks in Beijing.

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin pledged a "new era" of partnership between the two most powerful rivals of the United States, as the latter concluded his two-day official visit to China. On the closing day, the 71-year-old Russian President spoke highly of the people-to-people ties between the two countries, saying that the Russians and the Chinese are "brothers forever".

During his two-day state visit, both leaders pledged a "new era" of partnership between the two countries. Xi, 70, and Putin, 71, signed a joint statement on Thursday about the "new era" that proclaimed opposition to the United States on a host of security issues and a shared view on everything from Taiwan and Ukraine to North Korea and cooperation on new peaceful nuclear technologies and finance.

Speaking ahead of a concert dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the start of the Cross-Cultural Years, Putin expressed confidence in the continuation of cordial ties between the two countries. He also compared the Moscow-Beijing ties with a song from the 1940s.

"The event is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. There is a famous song from that time, it was created 75 years ago, but is often sung today: there is a quite famous line in it: 'Russian and Chinese are brothers forever," Putin said, exuding confidence in boosting the relationship further.

Putin's visit to China

Putin landed in China's national capital, Beijing, on Wednesday to meet his "dear friend" Xi Jinping whom he greeted grandly with a 21-gun salute. The significance of Putin's visit could be understood by the fact that the Kremlin leader chose Beijing as his first foreign destination after he took oath as Russian President earlier last week. By picking China for his first foreign trip since being sworn in this month for another six-year term, experts opine that Putin is sending a message to the world about his priorities and the strength of his personal ties with Xi.

"The China-Russia relationship today is hard-earned, and the two sides need to cherish and nurture it," Xi told Putin. "China is willing to ... jointly achieve the development and rejuvenation of our respective countries, and work together to uphold fairness and justice in the world."

In a restricted meeting, Xi told Putin that China has maintained its strategic resolve in the face of global changes and Beijing is willing to work with Russia and other countries to enhance solidarity and cooperation, steer global governance in the right direction, jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, and promote world peace and common development.

Noting that China's development is unstoppable and that no force can contain China's growth and progress, Putin said that Russia is willing to improve cooperation with China and other Global South countries to promote international fairness and justice, and to work toward a more equal and multipolar world. The two heads of state had an in-depth exchange of views on the Ukraine crisis.

Xi elaborated on China's consistent position and efforts to promote the political settlement of the Ukraine issue, stressing that to deal with any major issue, it is necessary to address both the symptoms and the root causes, and to plan for the present as well as for the long term. Xi said China supports the convening of an international peace conference recognized by Russia and Ukraine at an appropriate time with equal participation and fair discussion of all options. Putin said that Russia appreciates China's objective, just and balanced position on the Ukraine issue and welcomes China to continue to play an important and constructive role in the political settlement of the issue.

What does Putin's visit to China mean for the US?

The closeness between China and Russia may make it uncomfortable for the United States, as both leaders described it as an aggressive Cold War hegemon sowing chaos across the world.  "The United States still thinks in terms of the Cold War and is guided by the logic of bloc confrontation, putting the security of 'narrow groups' above regional security and stability, which creates a security threat for all countries in the region," the joint statement after Putin-Xi meeting read.

Reacting to the meeting, the US said it finds China's essential reconstitution of Russia's defence industrial base "deeply problematic" and will take appropriate action on the issue when necessary. US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said China cannot have stronger ties with Europe and other countries while supporting Russia in its ongoing war against Ukraine.

"The People's Republic of China can't have its cake and eat it too. You cannot have it both ways. You want to have good, further stronger, deeper relationships with Europe and other countries. While simultaneously continuing to fuel the biggest threat to European security in a long time. It's important of this is not just the US position, it is one that is shared by our partners in the G7, our partners at NATO and our partners in the EU," he said.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Xi lauds China-Russia ties in talks with Putin, says Beijing will remain 'good partner' | WATCH

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