Putin admits China has ‘questions and concerns’ over Russia’s faltering invasion of Ukraine



CNN
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised China’s “balanced position” Ukraine warAlthough he acknowledged that Beijing had “questions and concerns” over the invasion, it indirectly acknowledged their differing views on the prolonged military offensive.

Putin made the remarks days after meeting in person with Chinese leader Xi Jinping for the first time since the invasion at a regional summit in Uzbekistan. Russia suffered a series of major military setbacks in Ukraine. Russian troops have retreated en masse, losing more territory in a week than they captured in five months.

China has so far refused to outright condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine financial aid to your neighborIncreasing bilateral trade to record levels in a boon for Russian trade amid Western sanctions.

“We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends regarding the Ukrainian crisis. We understand your questions and concerns in this regard,” Putin said in the opening remarks of the meeting. “During today’s meeting, of course, Since then, we will elaborate on our position on this issue, although we have talked about this before.

According to Chinese state media, Xi said China is ready to work with Russia in “providing strong support to each other on issues related to their respective core interests”.

The Chinese leader also said that both the countries should try as much as possible to take responsibility In “The Chaotic, Interconnected World”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Thursday.

Driven by growing conflict with the West and a strong personal bond, the two authoritarian leaders have emerged as close partners in recent years.

China has offered tacit support for Russia over Ukraine, while Moscow has backed Beijing and criticized Washington over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August. Beijing responded to her visit with unprecedented military exercises around the self-governing democratic island, which it claims to be its territory.

At his meeting on Thursday, Putin also denounced the United States for “inciting” the Taiwan Straits, and criticized what he claimed were attempts to “create a unipolar world”. Those efforts, he said, “have recently taken an ugly shape and are absolutely unacceptable to most states on the planet.”

The two are negotiating on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a regional security-focused grouping that also includes India, Pakistan and four Central Asian nations.

According to Russia’s Defense Ministry, in a symbolic display of force and unity, the Russian and Chinese navies conducted joint patrols and exercises in the Pacific Ocean hours before their leaders’ meeting.

At the start of the meeting on Thursday, Putin emphasized deep economic ties between the two countries, noting that bilateral trade exceeded $140 billion last year. “I am confident that by the end of the year we will reach new record levels, and in the near future, as agreed, we will increase our annual trading turnover to $200 billion or more,” he said.

Putin last met Xi in February this year during a visit to the Chinese capital for the Winter Olympics. It was at that meeting that the two leaders formulated their “no boundaries” partnership, and released a 5,000-word document voicing their shared opposition to “further expansion of NATO”.

For Xi, meanwhile, Thursday’s meeting comes as part of his first trip outside China’s borders in more than two years, and a key political meeting in Beijing to secure a norm-breaking third term. a few weeks ago – a move that would solidify its position as China’s most powerful leader in decades.

China has turned increasingly inward since the start of the pandemic, and maintains a strict zero-Covid policy that limits outbound travel.

Xi’s visit to Central Asia is a return to the world stage and provides him with an opportunity to show that despite escalating tensions with the West, China still has friends and partners to re-establish its global influence. is ready.

at its first stage, Xi visits Kazakhstanwhere he unveiled his flagship Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, a massive infrastructure project that spans from East Asia to Europe.

In a meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Wednesday, Xi said China “looks to partner with Kazakhstan to remain a leader in Belt and Road cooperation.”

Xi also told Tokayev that “China will always support Kazakhstan in maintaining national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese state media reported.

The Chinese leader visited Uzbekistan on Wednesday evening and met President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He also met with the presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on Thursday.

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