Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Friday as a show of solidarity amid Russia’s diplomatic standoff with the United States, The Washington Post reports.
The two leaders met as the Beijing Olympics kicked off and issued a long joint statement backing Putin’s grievances against the west.
The statement said the two countries "believe that certain States, military and political alliances and coalitions seek to obtain, directly or indirectly, unilateral military advantages to the detriment of the security of others."
The two leaders said they also "oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States.”
Putin and Xi strike gas deal:
The two leaders also announced a new deal in which Russia would supply China with more gas through a new pipeline.
The meeting marked Xi’s first public meeting with a world leader since the Covid pandemic began.
Analysts worry about the growing ties between the two nations.
No American officials were at the Beijing games amid the Biden administration’s diplomatic boycott.
Western nations have roundly condemned China’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims and Russia’s aggressive posturing around Ukraine’s borders.
The US warned China ahead of the meeting against helping Russia evade potential sanctions related to their possible “imminent” invasion of Ukraine.
"We have an array of tools that we can deploy if we see foreign companies, including those in China, doing their best to backfill U.S. export control actions, to evade them, to get around them," said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Price said closer ties with China would not be enough to counteract sanctions from the west.
"If Russia thinks that it will be in a position ... to mitigate some of those consequences, by a closer relationship with (China), that is not the case. It will actually make the Russian economy, in many ways, more brittle," he said.