Russia and China have forged a tighter relationship, one they hope presents a front against the West.
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping mutually agreed on their new alliance during a video conference on December 15th, Euractiv reports.
“A new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries, based, among other things, on such principles as non-interference in internal affairs and respect for each other’s interests,” Putin reportedly told Xi during their meeting.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported Xi told the Russian President, “At present, certain international forces under the guise of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ are interfering in the internal affairs of China and Russia, and brutally trampling on international law and recognized norms of international relations.”
The two countries “should increase their joint efforts to more effectively safeguard the security interests of both parties,” Xi also reportedly said.
According to a Kremlin aide, the leaders also concurred in their “negative view” of new alliances recently formed in other regions, such as the AUKUS (Australia, Britain and the United States) partnership and the Indo-Pacific “Quad” of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
Putin also briefed Xi on his recent meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, the Kremlin announced.
In a video conference eight days prior to his meeting with Xi, Putin had demanded security pledges from the United States after Biden warned Putin that the US would provide support to Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion. Putin has denied that he has plans to invade Ukraine.
Putin also assured Xi of Russian participation in the upcoming Olympics in Beijing. Putin said he looked forward to seeing Xi at the international sporting event in February. This contrasts with the response issued by the United States, which amounted to a boycott of the Olympics by U. S. officials, in protest of China’s human rights violations of Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.
Putin emphasized the role of sports in relations between the two powers. “I would like to note that we invariably support each other on issues of international sports cooperation, including the rejection of any attempts to politicize sports and the Olympic movement,” Putin was reported to have said.
Putin also highlighted the growing trade relationship between the two countries, particularly in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.
Putin stated that bilateral trade had increased 31% in the first 11 months of this year, reaching $123 billion, and was projected to exceed $200 billion in the near future.
According to Putin, China was becoming the principal manufacturer of Russia’s Sputnik and Sputnik Light vaccines against COVID-19 with contracts signed with six manufacturers to make more than 150 million doses.