Putin’s visit to Beijing confirms China’s economic and diplomatic support for Russia

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Russian Pres He is expected to meet this week with Chinese leaders in Beijing in a visit that confirms China’s economic and diplomatic support for Moscow during its war in Ukraine.

The two countries have established an informal alliance against the United States and other democratic countries, which is now complicated by the war between Israel and Hamas. China has sought to achieve balance Its relations with Israel With its economic relations with Iran and Syria, which Russia strongly supports.

Putin’s visit is also a show of support for Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative to build infrastructure and expand China’s influence abroad.

The Russian leader will be among the distinguished guests In the assembly Marking the 10th anniversary of Xi’s announcement of the policy, which saddled countries such as Zambia and Sri Lanka with heavy debt after they signed contracts with Chinese companies to build roads, airports and other public works they could not otherwise afford.

Putin’s visit has not been confirmed, but Chinese officials indicated that he would arrive late Monday.

In response to a question from reporters on Friday about his visit to China, Putin said it would include talks on projects related to the Belt and Road, which he said Moscow wanted to link to efforts by the economic alliance of former Soviet states located mostly in Central Asia. “Achieving common development goals.” He also downplayed the impact of China’s economic influence in a region that Russia has long considered its backyard and where it has worked to maintain its political and military influence.

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“We do not have any contradictions here, on the contrary, there is a certain synergy,” Putin said.

Putin indicated that he and Xi will also discuss the growing economic and financial relations between Moscow and Beijing.

“One of the key areas is financial relations and creating more incentives for payments in national currencies,” Putin said. “The scale is growing rapidly, and there are good prospects in high-tech areas, in the energy sector.”

Alexander Gabuev, director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, said that from China’s point of view, “Russia is a safe and friendly neighbor, it is a source of cheap raw materials, and this is support for Chinese initiatives on the world stage, and this is also a source of energy.” Military technologies, some of which China does not have.”

“For Russia, China is a lifeline, an economic lifeline in its brutal repression against Ukraine,” Gabuev told The Associated Press.

“It is the main market for Russian goods, it is the country that provides its currency and payment system to settle Russia’s trade with the outside world – with China itself, but also with many other countries, and it is also the main source of high-tech imports. Including dual-use goods that enter In the Russian military machine.”

Although Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to form a full military alliance, their defense cooperation will grow, Gabuev said.

“I do not expect Russia and China to create a military alliance,” Gabuev said. “Both countries are self-sufficient in terms of security and benefit from the partnership, but neither really requires a security guarantee from the other. They herald strategic independence.”

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“There will not be a military alliance, but there will be closer military cooperation, more interoperability, more cooperation in projecting power together, including in places like the Arctic and more joint efforts to develop missile defense that make U.S. nuclear planning and planning more effective.” power”. He added that the United States and its allies in Asia and Europe are more complicated.

China and the former Soviet Union were Cold War rivals for influence among left-leaning countries, but have since partnered in the economic, military and diplomatic spheres. A few weeks before Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine last February, Putin met with Xi in Beijing and the two sides signed an agreement pledging a ceasefire. “Boundless” relationship Beijing’s attempts to present itself as a neutral peace mediator in Russia’s war on Ukraine were widely rejected by the international community.

something Visited Moscow in March Within the framework of a wave of exchanges between the two sides. China condemned the international sanctions imposed on Russia, but did not directly address the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Putin for alleged involvement in the kidnapping of thousands of children from Ukraine.

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