Russia and China line up against the US in a “limitless” partnership


  • Putin and Xi present assertive manifesto to counter the US
  • Leaders support each other in enlarging Taiwan and NATO
  • ‘There are no off-limits areas’ in Russia-China cooperation

MOSCOW, Feb 4 (Reuters) – China and Russia proclaimed a deep strategic partnership to balance what they described as America’s malign global influence on Friday as Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Russia’s Vladimir Putin on the opening day of the Beijing Winter Olympics. .

In a joint statement, the two countries said their new relationship was superior to any Cold War-era political or military alliance.

“The friendship between the two states knows no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation,” they declared, announcing plans to collaborate in a number of areas including space, climate change, artificial intelligence and internet control.

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The agreement marked the most detailed and assertive statement of Russia and China’s determination to work together, and against the United States, to build a new international order based on their own interpretations of human rights and democracy.

Suffused with ideological discourse, it was unclear whether it would immediately translate into increased tangible and practical cooperation despite the fact that Putin announced a new gas deal with China on Friday, or if it was intended to be more of a statement of political intent. general.

Jonathan Eyal of the London-based think tank RUSI said the statement marked a “frontal refutation” of the American and Western worldview and a possible building block toward a Russia-China military alliance.

“It is the most explicit articulation of the ‘make the world safe for dictatorship’ strategy,” he said. “It’s a historic point because they both feel hemmed in and feel that their time has come to put forth their worldview and push it aggressively.”

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The two countries have grown closer as both have come under pressure from the West on a number of issues, including their human rights records and Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine. The moment of his announcement was very symbolic, in an Olympic Games organized by China that the United States has subjected to a diplomatic boycott.

Each went significantly further than before, Eyal said, explicitly endorsing the other on key points of contention with the United States and its allies:

– Russia expressed its support for China’s position that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and its opposition to any form of independence for the island. Moscow and Beijing have also voiced opposition to the AUKUS alliance between Australia, Britain and the United States, saying it increases the danger of an arms race in the region.

– China joined Russia in calling for an end to NATO expansion and supported its demand for security guarantees from the West, issues that are at the heart of Moscow’s confrontation with the United States and its allies over Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China on February 4, 2022. Sputnik/Aleksey Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

The two countries expressed concern about “the advancement of US plans to develop a global missile defense and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with the development of high-precision non-nuclear weapons capabilities for disarmament strikes and other strategic objectives.

Elsewhere, without naming Washington, they criticized attempts by “certain states” to establish global hegemony, foment confrontation and impose their own standards of democracy.

TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY

In the technology arena, Russia and China said they were ready to strengthen cooperation on artificial intelligence and information security.

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They said they believed “any attempt to limit their sovereign right to regulate national segments of the Internet and ensure their security is unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, Russian state-owned energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft on Friday agreed new oil and gas supply deals with Beijing worth tens of billions of dollars. Read more.

The deals capitalize on Putin’s push to diversify Russian energy exports away from the West, which began shortly after he came to power in 1999. Since then, Russia has become China’s main energy supplier and reduced its dependence on the West. to earn income.

The Kremlin said the presidents also discussed the need to expand trade in national currencies due to the unpredictability surrounding the use of the dollar.

US President Joe Biden has said Russian companies could be deprived of the ability to trade in dollars as part of sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.

Moscow denies any such intent, but has used a rally of more than 100,000 troops near the Ukraine border to draw Western attention and press its demands for security guarantees.

Chinese gas supplies are not directly related to Russian gas exports to Europe, and more Russian gas for Beijing does not automatically mean less for Europe. However, they serve Putin as an additional revenue cushion amid the growing threat of US and EU sanctions.

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Additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan in London; Edited by Angus MacSwan

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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