Again, Xi Jinping y Vladimir Putinthe two great promoters of the “multipolar world”, a concept linked to an alternative to the international order led by USAthey sat face to face again while the world is distracted with the war in Near East and the terrible episodes such as the massacre in the hospital Gaza.
The biggest diplomatic event of the year in Beijing, the summit on the Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure plan that has become the cornerstone of Xi’s foreign policy, has been the perfect excuse to bring together the presidents of China and Russia in their third bilateral meeting in person since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine. On the sidelines of the event, both leaders scheduled a time this Wednesday for the world to see the union of the Beijing-Moscow axis in the midst of all the turbulence that is shaking the planet.
As soon as the meeting began, Xi first praised Putin as his “old friend,” highlighting that, Over the last decade, the two have met 42 times, establishing a “solid working relationship and deep friendship.” The Chinese president highlighted that the “strategic collaboration” between both countries is “close and effective”, and as an example he cited the expansion of the bilateral tradewhich this year will reach an all-time high exceeding $200 billion.
In Putin’s words: “In the current difficult conditions, close coordination of foreign policy is especially needed, precisely what we are doing.” The Chinese leader also stressed that the “mutual political trust” between both nations “continuously grows.” Finally, according to official Chinese media, Xi told his counterpart that both have to make efforts to “jointly safeguard international justice and promote global development.”
It was no coincidence that China was the first destination, in addition to countries of the former Soviet Union, that Putin visited since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him for war crimes in March. In Beijing, which is not a signatory to the court, the Russian president is safe. Furthermore, it was a calculated trip because Moscow’s strategic dependence on its neighbor has only increased. The Kremlin needs the economic umbrella of the Asian superpower, which continues to juggle diplomacy between Moscow and the West, although it has not yet openly condemned the Russian army’s attack on Kiev.