China will support Russia on security issues, Xi told Putin on his birthday

Speaking on the occasion of his 69th birthday, Xi Jinping also pledged to deepen strategic coordination between the two countries, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

In a separate message from the Kremlin, the two leaders stressed that relations between their countries are “at an unprecedented high level” and reaffirmed their commitment to “consistently deepening the all-round partnership.”

This is believed to be the second conversation between them since Russia invaded Ukraine. The last time they spoke was just a few days after Moscow launched what it insists is calling a “special military operation.”

China, too, refrains from calling Russia’s actions an invasion and keeps a fine line on the matter. It positions itself as calling for peace and supporting global order, while refusing to condemn Russia’s actions. He also used his state media apparatus to mimic the Kremlin line blaming the United States and NATO for the crisis.

During a phone call on Wednesday, Xi stressed that China has always “independently assessed the situation” in Ukraine and urged “all parties” to press for a “proper resolution of the Ukrainian crisis.” Biden.

China is “ready to continue playing its role” in promoting the “right solution” for Ukraine, he said.

The Kremlin’s summary of the call took that position a step further, stating: “The Chinese president noted the legitimacy of Russia’s actions to protect fundamental national interests in the face of challenges to its security posed by outside forces.”

China’s lack of condemnation of Russia’s war in Ukraine has further strained Beijing’s tense relationship with the US and its allies.

U.S. officials have repeatedly called on countries to condemn Russia’s actions and warned his Chinese colleagues against helping Moscow. During a March call between Xi and Biden, the US president clarified the consequences if China provides material support after US intelligence that Moscow has turned to Beijing for military assistance—both deny this claim.

Trade connections

Wednesday’s call was also a chance for Putin and Xi to test the growing trade relationship.

Earlier this year, weeks before the Russian invasion, the two leaders face to face meeting declared that their countries had a “borderless” partnership and promised to increase trade.

“Since the beginning of this year, the bilateral relationship has maintained a healthy momentum in the face of global turmoil and transformation,” Xi said in a phone call on Wednesday.

“The Chinese side is willing to work with the Russian side to promote the sustainable and long-term development of practical bilateral cooperation,” Xi said, pointing to the “steady progress” of their trade ties and the opening of the first crossroads last week. – border road bridge across the Amur River.

The parties agreed to expand cooperation in the energy, financial, industrial and other areas, “taking into account the world economic situation that has become more complicated due to the illegitimate sanctions policy of the West,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

The two countries have also pledged to work together to strengthen communication and coordination in international organizations such as the United Nations, where they often vote as a bloc.

“China is also willing to work with Russia to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among emerging market countries … and advance the development of the international order and global governance in a more just and reasonable direction,” Xi said in a comment that leaked. about the common goal of nations to fight back against what they see as the global hegemony of the United States.

happy birthday greetings

The call was not the first time that Xi and Putin — two powerful men united by a mutual distrust of the West — have gotten engaged on each other’s birthdays.

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In 2013, Xi gave Putin a birthday cake and they drank vodka together to mark the Russian leader’s 61st birthday during a conference in Indonesia. Xi later celebrated his 66th birthday during a 2019 Tajikistan summit with Putin, who surprised him ice cream, cake and champagne.

Their personal relationship, in which Xi has referred to Putin as his “best and closest friend,” is thought to contribute to the dynamic of their strengthening of mutual understanding at the national level.

Summing up the results of the last telephone conversation between the two leaders, the Kremlin noted that the conversation took place in a “traditionally warm and friendly atmosphere.”

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