China on Wednesday urged Russia to launch more joint actions to “uphold the security interests of the two sides more effectively” and step up coordination and collaboration in international affairs.
In an hour-long virtual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, their second this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in an obvious reference to the United States, told his counterpart that efforts must be made to “firmly reject hegemonic acts and the Cold War mentality under the disguise of multilateralism and rules”.
This was the 37th meeting since 2013 between the two Presidents with Putin slated to visit Beijing in less than two months to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics which would be the first in-person meeting between the two leaders in two years.
Putin, in his opening remarks on Wednesday, highlighted that a new model of cooperation has been formed between Russia and China which is based on principles like non-interference in internal affairs, respect for each other’s interests and determination to turn the common border into a “belt” of eternal peace and good neighbourliness.
He stated that the economic ties between Moscow and Beijing are also on the upswing with the January-November period this year witnessing trade increase by 31 percent – up to $ 123 billion, breaking the record figures of the pre-pandemic 2019.
As a number of large-scale joint projects are being carried out between the two nations in the energy sector, including nuclear power, and in the field of high technologies, Putin hoped that the figure will cross the 200 billion mark soon.
With many countries all over the world joining a US-led diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics – Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida announced today he will not be attending the opening ceremony – Putin thanked Xi for sending an invite to attend the “significant” event.
“I would like to note that we invariably support each other on issues of international sports cooperation, including rejection of any attempts to politicize sports and the Olympic movement. I have no doubt that the upcoming Winter Olympic Games will be held at the highest level. In China, they know how to do it,” said Putin.
The Chinese President expressed hope that during Putin’s visit to Beijing, they will have in-depth discussions on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues, and reach more new, important common understandings.
He also pointed out that “certain forces” in the world are trying to meddle in the internal affairs of China and Russia under the pretext of “democracy” and “human rights”.
Beijing also said that it will continue to carry out flexible and diverse cooperation with Russia and other member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to safeguard security and stability in the region.
Xi said that the two sides need to support Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states in steadily advancing important domestic political agenda, and reject interference in the domestic affairs of regional countries by external forces “under whatever pretexts”.
With Beijing taking over the BRICS presidency and hosting the 14th BRICS Summit next year, Xi told Putin that China will maintain a high level of strategic coordination with Russia and encourage BRICS countries to deepen cooperation across the board.
While Putin called Russia-China relations “a real model of interstate cooperation in the 21st century”, his aide Yuri Ushakov said that the conversation was “very positive” and “between two colleagues, two friends, leaders of two great friendly states.”
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