Xi, Putin Discuss Cooperation, Ukraine Concerns at Uzbekistan Security Summit |  News |  DV

Xi, Putin Discuss Cooperation, Ukraine Concerns at Uzbekistan Security Summit | News | DV

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin held face-to-face talks Thursday on the sidelines of a security summit.

According to media reports, the leaders of the two countries discussed Beijing’s tensions with Taiwan and the war in Ukraine.

Putin praised China’s “balanced” approach to Ukraine during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Putin said he was ready to discuss China’s “concern” about Ukraine before the meeting.

Earlier, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Chinese support for Russia “knows no boundaries.”

“We understand your questions and your concerns on this matter, and we will certainly offer a detailed explanation of our position on this issue during today’s meeting, although we have already spoken about this before,” Putin said, confirming Beijing’s position.

The Russian president went on to say that the “Moscow-Beijing tandem” has played a “key role” in ensuring global and regional stability, according to the Russian state news agency TASS.

These were the first bilateral talks between Xi and Putin since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Indirectly criticizing the United States, Putin said: “Recently, attempts to create a unipolar world have acquired an absolutely unsightly appearance and are completely unacceptable.”

As for the escalation of tension around Taiwan, Putin added, “we adhere to the principle of a united China. We condemn the provocation by the United States and its satellites in the Taiwan Strait.”

Xi, on the other hand, told Putin: “China is ready to make an effort together with Russia to take on the role of a great power and play a leadership role to bring stability and positive energy to a world shattered by social upheaval.”

Meanwhile, the US government criticized the meeting between Xi and Putin. “Now is not the time to do business with Mr. Putin as usual, given what he has done inside Ukraine,” said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council.

The summit in the capital of Uzbekistan, Samarkand, also includes meetings with the leaders of India and Central Asia.

Samarkand is part of China’s multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to expand trade by building infrastructure in countries from the South Pacific through Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Bilateral talks on the sidelines

The main meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit are scheduled for Friday, but the focus will be on bilateral talks.

Putin spoke with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi after the Iranian foreign minister announced that Tehran had signed a memorandum to join the group.

Tehran has so far acted as an observer in the SCO strip.

“Relations between countries that are under US sanctions, such as Iran, Russia or other countries, can overcome many problems and issues and make them stronger,” Raisi said at a meeting with Putin.

“Americans think that whatever country they impose sanctions on, they will be stopped, their perception is wrong,” he added.

Putin said that cooperation is developing “positively.”

The Russian leader was also expected to meet with the leaders of Pakistan, India and Turkey.

Turkey played an important role in bringing grain from Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

It is not yet clear who Xi will meet on a bilateral basis. Negotiations with India’s Narendra Modi were last held in 2019 as relations between China and India became strained after bloody fighting in 2020 on the border with the Himalayas.

Before traveling to Uzbekistan, Xi made a short one-day visit to Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

The desire to resist the West

Established in 2001, the SCO belongs to a group of eight countries consisting of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. They cooperate on issues related to politics, economics and security.

China and Russia formed and led a group in an attempt to counterbalance US influence.

“The SCO offers a real alternative to Western-centric organizations,” Yuri Ushakov, the Kremlin’s foreign policy adviser, told reporters in Moscow this week.

“All members of the SCO stand for a just world order,” he said, describing the summit as taking place “against the background of large-scale geopolitical changes.”

In general, the SCO represents the audience of half of the world’s population.

Andrew Small, Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Asia Program in the US, told DW the meeting was very symbolic.

“It means [Xi] can put on a strong demonstration of a non-Western gathering as opposed to the G7, NATO as an organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, created by China itself,” Small said.

js, los/fb (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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