Xi meets Putin, stressing strategic coordination to better tackle external interference

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday afternoon, stressing the further deepening of “back-to-back” strategic coordination in upholding international fairness and justice and adhering to the four consensuses in supporting each other’s sovereignty, security and development interests to better tackle external interference and regional threats, as they exchanged views on a series of major issues regarding global strategic security and stability.

The meeting in Beijing, the first face-to-face between the two leaders in two years, took place ahead of the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. After the meeting, the two sides issued a joint statement on international relations in a new era and global sustainable development to elaborate their common stances over views on democracy, security and order.

The joint statement said that a small number of forces in the international community continue stubbornly to promote unilateralism, adopt power politics, interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, undermine other countries’ legitimate rights and interests, create frictions and confrontations and hamper the development and progress of mankind. The international community will not accept this, it said.

China and Russia share the understanding that democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of countries, and that its promotion and protection is a common responsibility of the entire international community, according to the joint statement.

In the joint statement, Russia also reaffirms its support for the one-China principle, reiterating that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of “Taiwan independence.”

China and Russia also oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the bloc to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches and respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, according to the joint statement.

The two countries also share serious concerns over AUKUS, the pact among the US, the UK and Australia, calling on the countries to fulfill their nuclear and missile non-proliferation commitments in good faith and to work together to safeguard peace, stability and development in the region.

The two sides also signed a series of major documents on cooperation in various areas, according to a statement issued after the meeting, underscoring the unprecedented strategic partnership between Russia and China, which is not only in the interests of the two countries but also the stability of the world.

Xi said that he believes this rendezvous at the Winter Olympics, which also coincides with springtime, will inject much momentum to the China-Russia bilateral relationship.

Putin said during the meeting that official visits during the opening of the Olympics have become a tradition, mentioning his visit to Beijing in the summer of 2008 for the Summer Olympics, Xi’s visit to Russia in 2014 for the Sochi Winter Olympics and the meeting in Beijing before the Winter Olympics.

The trip is Putin’s first visit overseas in 2022 and the only visit scheduled so far. Putin was the first foreign head of state to confirm his attendance at the Beijing Winter Olympics last year. The first face-to-face meeting between the two top leaders in two years is set to further advance the China-Russia relationship.

Amid the epidemic and growing new challenges worldwide, China and Russia have been maintaining stable bilateral ties, firmly supporting each other on their core interests with enhanced political and strategic trust, with bilateral trade volume hitting a record high, Xi said.

The China-Russia bilateral relationship is also unprecedented and an example of a dignified relationship. Deepened strategic cooperation between Russia and China will also help the two countries to develop and safeguard common interests, which has great importance to the world’s strategic security and stability.

The meeting will play a crucial role in the close cooperation between Moscow and Beijing on the basis of mutual political trust. And China and Russia will play a pivotal role in safeguarding stability in today’s challenging world, Putin told Chinese media outlets ahead of his visit to China.

During a meeting between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov ahead of the leaders’ meeting on Friday, the two sides agreed to adhere to the Olympic spirit and oppose any form of politicization of the event.

They have also vowed to uphold peace and stability within the Asia Pacific region and opposing any attempt to create antagonism and confrontation among camps and groups.

Besides the official interaction, the two top leaders have also seen their personal relationship grow over the past decade through a long list of memorable moments, playing the leading role in the development of China-Russia ties.

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