The United States expressed concern about the progress of Russia-China relations, but described Putin’s acknowledgment of Xi’s concerns about Ukraine as “remarkable”.
“It is remarkable that President Putin has explicitly acknowledged, at least in the media, that President Xi has concerns about the military operation in Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. a few hours after the two leaders of Russia and China met face-to-face on September 15.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, Putin said he understood Beijing had “questions and concerns” about Moscow’s position on the conflict in Ukraine.
“It is not surprising that China has such concerns. But the fact that Mr. Putin is the one to admit it openly is somewhat surprising,” Mr. Price said.
Spokesman Price said the United States had found no evidence that China was providing military aid to Russia, but noted that Washington had warned Beijing to “pay dearly” if it found out.
The United States has been keeping a close eye on Russia-China relations as President Xi and Putin grow closer amid growing pressure from the West.
“Russia and China share a vision of a world that is completely at odds with the order that has been the backbone of the international system for the past eight decades,” Price said. “The United States has made very clear its concern about this deepening relationship, and so should every country in the world.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 15 met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, marking the second face-to-face meeting between them since from the beginning of February.
Xi expressed Beijing’s willingness to work with Russia to strongly support issues related to each country’s core interests. President Putin affirmed his support for China on the Taiwan issue and said that the meeting of the two leaders will “make the Russia-China partnership stronger and stronger”.
China and India are two major economies that do not impose sanctions on Russia for its military campaign in Ukraine, even increasing its purchase of cheap oil from this country, despite pressure from the West over the conflict in Ukraine. Beijing has called on all sides to hold peace talks, but has avoided criticizing Moscow.
Russia and China in recent years have drawn closer together in the fields of politics, trade, and military, and affirmed that the bilateral relationship has “no limits”. China is Russia’s largest trading partner, with trade last year reaching $147 billion, up more than 30% from 2019.
Duc Trung (Theo SCMP, AFP)