Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he was expecting Chinese President Xi Jinping to make a state visit early next year, which would be a public show of solidarity with Beijing as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine falters.
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But an official Chinese readout of a video summit between the two leaders highlighted differences in approaches to their developing alliance, made no mention of the visit and stressed that Beijing, which has sought to withdraw or condemn the invasion refused, he would maintain his “objective and impartial”. Rukh.
Since sending troops to Ukraine in February, Russia has turned its back on Western powers, which have ostracized it economically and politically, and armed Ukraine, instead bowing to the rising Granthshala power of longtime rival China. doing.
“We are waiting for you, dear Mr. President, dear friend, we are expecting you on a state visit to Moscow next spring,” Putin told Xi in an eight-minute introductory statement broadcast on state television.
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“It will demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russian-Chinese relations on important issues.”
He also said he aimed to promote military cooperation with China – although there was no mention of this in Chinese state broadcaster CCTV’s report of the call.
Although Xi called Putin his “dear friend”, his introductory statement, about a quarter the length of Putin’s, was far more insightful in tone.
The two peoples signed a “no borders” strategic partnership in February, informed by a shared distrust of the West, days before Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine in what was called a “special military operation”.
The call followed after the United States said it was “concerned” by China’s alignment with Russia, and reiterated that it had warned Beijing of consequences if it provided military aid to Russia for its war against Ukraine. or assist in the removal of Western sanctions.
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A State Department spokesman said, “We are closely monitoring Beijing’s activity.” “Beijing claims to be neutral, but its behavior makes clear it is still investing in closer ties with Russia.”
US officials have consistently said they have not yet seen Beijing providing material support to Russia for war, a move that could provoke sanctions against China.
As major Western economies responded to the invasion with an unprecedented, coordinated barrage of sanctions, Russia has been forced to seek other markets, and has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top crude supplier. Bilateral trade has grown and financial ties have expanded.
On Friday, Russia’s finance ministry doubled the maximum possible share of the Chinese yuan in its National Wealth Fund (NWF) to 60% as Moscow seeks to “de-dollarize” its economy and “unfriendly” countries including the United States, European Tries to end dependence on countries. Union members and Britain and Japan.
Moscow has also publicly supported Xi’s position on Taiwan and accused the West of trying to provoke a conflict over the status of the self-governing island, which China claims as its own.
Putin told Xi: “You and I share the same views on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing transformation of the Granthshala geopolitical landscape due to unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West.”
However, Xi has been less vocal in his criticism of Western countries which are China’s major export markets, and appeared calmer on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
China refrained from condemnation, instead emphasizing the need for peace, but in September Putin publicly acknowledged that his Chinese counterpart had “concerns” about Russia’s actions.
However, Xi told Putin on Friday that China was ready to step up strategic cooperation with Russia in what he called a “difficult” situation in the world at large.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the meeting was concrete and constructive, but no date has yet been set for Xi’s visit.
(Reporting by Reuters; Additional reporting by Eduardo Baptista in Shanghai and Michael Martina in Washington; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Tomasz Janowski and Nick McPhee)