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Friday, 27 January 2023
Xi Jinping returns to world stage with Putin to counter US dominance
Xi Jinping-Chinese President/Shutterstock

China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Putin on Thursday (Sep 15) will hold their first in-person meeting since Moscow invaded Ukraine, according to the Kremlin, in a sign that Beijing sees the relationship as crucial to countering the US.

It will occur on the sidelines of a Chinese-founded security forum in Uzbekistan that gathers countries ranging from India to Iran — a grouping that aims to accelerate the formation of a multipolar world.

Prior to that, Xi on Wednesday (Sep 14) will stop in Kazakhstan, where he unveiled what would become his signature Belt-and-Road trade-and-infrastructure plan nine years ago.

“Xi Jinping is trying to reorient global affairs in a direction that de-centers Western institutions and promotes groupings and institutions that are more favorable to China’s interests and worldview,” said Trey McArver, co-founder of research firm Trivium China.

Xi’s meeting with Putin, he added, “sends a very clear signal that China continues to tilt toward the side of Russia in that conflict.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets young entrepreneurs in Moscow on June 9, 2022. (File photo: AFP)

The stakes are rising for both Xi and Putin, who declared a “no limits” friendship just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

In recent days, Putin has seen Ukraine push back Russian forces and retake large swathes of land, while Xi has been under pressure to adopt stronger measures to prevent Taiwan from boosting relations with the US and its allies.

In phone call with Putin, Germany’s Scholz calls for cease-fire in Ukraine

China has so far avoided doing anything that would make it subject to US sanctions or help Russia win the war, even as Beijing provides Putin with diplomatic support and increases trade with its northern neighbor.

China’s interest in helping Russia appears more geared toward rebutting US moves that could also one day be used against Beijing.

levantnews- g7tamil