The relationship between China and Russia is reaching “new frontiers,” according to Russian President Vladimir Putin. During talks on Wednesday, February 24th, with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, he welcomed the fact that ties between the two nations are “progressing.”
Wang, a long-standing official who last year was made a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo, praised the continued cooperation between the two nations. China-Russia relations, he said, “have withstood the pressure exerted by the international community [a reference to the West’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in which China has refused to condemn Russia] and are developing quite sustainably,” he added.
Any such pressure, he remarked, would be pointless, since Russia and China have “a very strong economic, political and cultural foundation.” He noted both parties’ support of “multipolarity and democratization of international relations”—an implicit rebuke of what both China and Russia have labeled as a hegemonic U.S. which imposes its will on other nations—“which is fully in line with the spirit of the times and history and meets the interests of most countries as well.”
As intimated by Putin and Xi Jinping at last year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, the two nations propose an alternative vision for a multipolar world.
Putin concluded the meeting by confirming that Chinese President Xi Jinping would soon visit Russia.
The U.S. is voicing concern over Russia and China’s linking up.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price pointed to Wang’s high-level visit to Russia as an important milestone in this ongoing process.
“We are concerned because these two countries share a vision,” Price said in a press briefing. “They share an intent. It is not a vision of a rules-based order, of a liberal order, of democracies living peacefully side by side. It is a vision that harkens back to a previous era, an era in which big countries could bully small countries, borders could be redrawn by force—an era in which might could make right.”
Price went on to address rumors of Beijing supplying Moscow with lethal aid. “We have not yet seen the PRC [People’s Republic of China] provide Russia with lethal aid, but we don’t believe they’ve taken it off the table either,” Price said.
Both China and Russia have criticized the oft-used term ‘rules-based order’ as one in which the rules are unilaterally decided by the U.S., which, when circumstances demand, is known to break them.About a year ago, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, Xi and Putin struck a so-called “no limits” partnership. By and large, since then, China has stuck to a neutral stance on Ukraine, much to the frustration of the collective West.